It is very unfortunate that it takes a suicide of a celebrity actor who used to make his fans laugh, for people to start taking depression seriously. I have not checked the stats but there must have been millions of searches on google in the past 1 week to find out what depression really is and how it can take a toll on the life of a person who looks normal, wealthy and seems healthy and everything going well for him/her.
My answer will resonate well only with people who are suffering from depression or have recovered or are in the process of recovery.
Few readers may think that their problems are bigger than mine and there are people who suffer worse disease than depression – I completely agree with them and I would like to listen to their worries, fully empathize with them and will be there for them to support you – and at the same time, I also understand that most people don’t understand what depression is as they are confused with routine sadness. The word ‘depression’ is taken very lightly these days.
Most people seem to confuse sadness with depression. They are two different emotions and that is where the problem is. When I lost my mother 9 years ago, I was very sad as it was a great personal loss, but I wasn’t in depression – I was very active then. I went back to work after a week.
Today, I interacted with someone on Quora who argued with me, that Depression is just in the mind and only cowards would think of committing suicide. Well, I don’t blame this woman for her thinking, as for most people, it just seems to be that people choose to be depressed, lazy, disconnecting with people and not wanting to recover and they need to just snap out of it.
Well !! There may be some truth in what people think – depression is in the mind. But don’t we all know that it is the mind that controls emotions of people. For most illness and even the dreaded ones, if you have a strong mind and will power, you can recover and there are many evidence to support it.
But what happens when that part of your brain just stops functioning, refuses to react, wanting to recover and also replay all the negative events that happened in one’s life in front of you all the time day in and out.
When you lose the will power to live or fight any illness or even perform your basic routine in life, it is called depression and when this goes on for a longer period, usually months or years – it is called clinical depression which is extremely dangerous.
I am no medical expert, however I can only tell you what triggered my depression, how it feels like and what I am going to do about it to come out of it.
Personal loss (mother), Job insecurity and loss, worked for a toxic workplace for 3 years, been an introverted personality all my life, lack of friends, lack of adequate sunlight (lived in the UK for 10 years), financial loss from my 1st start up, a car accident 2 years ago have all contributed towards my depression. It was one knock at a time and every time I was knocked over, I would rise but not in the past 3 years.
I kept falling …falling ….falling ….and am yet to recover. This never happened to me before as I was always very strong to recover from any setback and that is when I felt this is much more serious.
These setbacks may seem minor individually, but then they all add up.
How does it feel ?
Cut off from people,
Get irritated easily,
Feel tired even though I have done no major activity during the day.
Not wanting to pick up the phone,
Feel like crying ( Yes…men cry too)
Thinking everyone is out to knock me over
Happy to follow the same routine everyday.
Hate TV or any sound
Hate people for no reason.
No reaction on my face when people talk to me,
Relive the past traumatic moments.
Actually thought the world would end in Dec 2012….Felt sad ..it didn’t
and the worst thing
I live in a 11 story residential building in Mumbai. The terrace gives a lovely view of the entire suburb of Mumbai. I have been thinking of visiting the terrace…I imagine standing on the top…..and thank God for the wonderful life I had so far, my family, my friends from the past and then I look down from the 11th floor, I notice my 7-year old son crying out loud….’Dad…please don’t jump…Mumma and I love you very much…we are proud of you…..Please come back Dad !!! ‘.
and I am still here…fighting to live another day !
What am I doing to recover from depression ?
– I pray to God for the wonderful life he has given me and to give me strength to fight it out (all alone if need be).
– Be there for people who need someone to talk to.
– Eat healthy, mainly fruits – bananas especially.
– Long walks (2 hours daily), listen to music, read a book – these days I have developed an interest in understanding how planes work.
– Continue to stay away from people on Facebook – no more commenting on friends holiday pictures.
– Affirmations – If other’s won’t tell me..I tell myself… ‘I am a wonderful person…My family loves me…They need me to be alive….I need to look after them’.
– Write, Write, Write …all positive feelings…how I am going to live my life for the next 40 years.
I conclude my answer with an image I clicked myself and a quote from Stephen Fry to compliment the image.
“If you know someone who’s depressed, please resolve never to ask them why. Depression isn’t a straightforward response to a bad situation; depression just is, like the weather.
Try to understand the blackness, lethargy, hopelessness, and loneliness they’re going through. Be there for them when they come through the other side. It’s hard to be a friend to someone who’s depressed, but it is one of the kindest, noblest, and best things you will ever do.”
~~~~ Stephen Fry