Updated: Apr 25
What is the first thing that come to your mind when you heat the word depression ? Usually it is the silhouette of a person with head in hands, stooping low, without having the courage to look up and face the world. In a more literal sense it denotes a state of mind which is in lower spirits than normal. Hence when you are depressed you aren't happy and can't get yourselves ready to face the world.
Like you and me everyone might have had depressed states of mind to some degree or the other. When we feel sad we feel a lump in our throats. This is sadness and if it persists upon thinking about a person or an incident that according to me is a sign of depression.
When I feel depressed, I automatically tend to reduce my social interactions. Moreover, I won't be inclined to meet and greet people meaningfully.
You and U that is me are all living in a society and are social animals. We tend to be happy in the company of others especially friends and family. When I am alone for a while, I tend to lose my joy of sharing with others and feel the monotony of life. I cannot draw inspiration from others nor can I have any opportunity to express myself. Basically, there is no audience to either reciprocate or to comment on. Solitude has taken its toll on my urge to improve, advance and to hope for something better to happen. In such situations, U that is me, start digging into my mental innards and becomes a navel gazer to eventually get consumed by my own internal demons. Hence solitude is good for a short introspection but drags us down onto a self-confined pensive box inside our head. We tend to go back to the past rather than live in the present.
Confinement can also be due to weather conditions where winters induce depression among us. I have felt like an inmate confined to incarceration at my own home during the long winters where the bleak weather and the bone chilling blizzards tend to sap the happiness put of you like a bee sucks nectar from a flower.
When I endure stress both physical and mental, I get fatigued. This fatigue sets in and leads us to the maze called depression. Once the door closes behind you it is hard to find it again. Stress emanates from social or psychological factors and even when someone becomes inept at achieving their goals and aspirations. Especially in a competitive environment we tend to feel the stress right from childhood on wards. The social vice of comparison is ingrained in our society like an indelible rule which automatically gives way to pressure to do well in exams, to out do a hundred others to fall into a certain percentile. We need to compare less and liberate more to relieve ourselves from stress. Even though social interactions are good for humans, when they are all confined to a small space in the backdrop of socio-economic inequalities they tend to slog it out under real stressful conditions to earn their daily bread.
U that is me had to confound rejection in various forms. This feels like a tight slap on the face the reverberations of which, remains for a long time. It does a lot of damage to the confidence levels of a person. It still remember going into a never ending loop of thoughts that keeps taking me to the point where I was rejected. I kept on thinking about the reason and a regressive reasoning session went on and on in my head.The focus on day to day activities were minimal and I was just going through the motions while being in a bubble of my own. The feeling of inferiority kicks in and rather than moving forward the person who gets rejected keeps on going back in time.
Other extrinsic reasons that can cause depression are basically down to substance abuse, traumatic experiences in the past, hereditary depression tendency etc which all makes the person feel like digging a hole and never getting out of it.
Hence the word hope plays a very crucial factor in depression and treating the same. Hope is what drives us forward. At the same time, it's your expectations or rather great/surreal expectations which when unachieved, makes you slip down. It's more like not being in an expected state of mind that beats you further down into depression.
Hence it can be inferred that it's more inside your head than anywhere else in your body. But then is it an illness ? Is medication necessary ? Well it can be yes or no depending upon the extend and the time period of being depressed.
Before delving deep into the treatment part let me characterize a depressed person. U that is me when depressed tend to stay longer in bed even though gripped by insomnia, become obviously introverted, loose interest on areas of interest, loose focus etc. Basically, depressed people tend to wallow in their sadness slipping deeper as time goes on. Pessimism and inability to accept the facts is another characteristic of such people and they are ultimately demotivated. I felt as it I was in a maze unable to find the one door that will take me out of it the moment, I find it. Outside is the normal world that waits for me. You may find helpers and well-wishers inside the maze but can only get out of it by yourself. Hence the key to the exit lies inside your head.
Time is a big factor especially in traumatic cases. It tends to instill the ability to forget and to build confidence. There is always a chance of old demons coming back and occupying your mind and so the root cause has to be identified. There are no shortcuts to be taken and this is where effective help plays a part. According to experts a mind depression can be effectively cured by counseling and other techniques. But moderate and severe depression certainly needs help from a psychiatrist. There arises the question of whether to go for medication or to go with other methods. The answer will be subject to the situation and the premise.
A crucial factor in the treatment of depression is the role played by friends and family. They are the ones who identity that something is wrong with the depressed person in the first place. Their support goes a long way in getting the person out of the situation. U that is me was bailed out with the effective support given by family. According to me they are the first line of counselors. They must be able to listen patiently to the so called patient. Another crucial fact is how they explain the problem to the expert when the affected person is incapable of doing the same. It's always good to start the treatment at the earliest rather than allowing the mental or emotional wounds to fester. The person inside the bubble sees it as impenetrable but the people who help out can help break it by constantly communicating to them. The motto of World Mental Health Day 2018 was 'Let's talk'.