Sunday, 12 July, 2020

Depression : Not All Wounds Visible


Barsha Koirala

The saying, "It takes one to know one," is a perfect example to shed light on depression among the unlucky ones who are bearing this burden or those lucky ones who somehow overcame this burden.
No matter how much you study about the subject of depression and mental health, all your knowledge will be trivial, unless you see yourself, or someone you love, fight this disease. Depression is not a self-created problem, but is rather a complex medical condition that has not yet been completely understood.
We often trivialise depression by loosely using the term to denote sadness. In fact, there is vast difference between sadness and depression. Nobody chooses to be depressed for the sake of self-pity. Depression-led suicides are not a cry for help or attention seeking or paying your attention to the people.

Feeling of Worthlessness
Depression often makes people feel worthless. They reckon that there is no place for them in this world. Many people think that they know about depression. But have they ever locked themselves in a room for months crying over nothing, unable to eat or sleep? have they ever felt so empty while insomnia drags them down, constantly pulling them towards darkness?
Have you ever noticed when depressed persons are broken bit by bit, nothing can ever cheer them up, not even their favourite TV shows or games? Sometimes they don’t feel anything at all. They try to run from everything, slit their wrists, bang their head on the wall until they are exhausted but nothing works.
The depressed people don’t want to kill themselves but to kill something inside them. It’s the condition when your own mind goes completely against you. Each and every small thought drag all your energy leaving you completely shattered. Everything you try to do just kicks back into your face.
Depression frequently creates a constant illusion that the ‘world is the worst place to live in’. You go insane not understanding what is actually happening with you. You didn’t want to talk about your situation to anyone but one day you plucked up the courage and shared your feelings with someone. But judgemental comments like-- you are over-thinking, what are you doing ? you are ruining such a great life!, why are you always negative?, I am fed up listening to you, just get over it and you are just self-creating it!
When a depressed person hears these pathetic comments and judgements, their condition worsens.
There is however, a piece of advice to these persons with judgemental comments: If you can’t help, please don’t try aggravating the situation faced by the depressed persons. Your advice to a diabetic to control their sugar level or to a heart patient to control their heart beat won't work because a person suffering from the medical condition has to take medication for controlling their body chemicals for balance.

No Clear-cut Cure
Depression is like one of those diseases and a person with depression cannot eliminate it all at a time, but can balance it with the help of medication. Cure of depression doesn’t have a clear-cut answer. It is a timeline, some lasts up to a few months to a year, for some it is a life -long battle in which symptoms peak from time to time.
The people suffering with depression know they should think positively but the feeling of negativity is inevitable for them.
There are some thought processing techniques for these people. If you really want to help, don’t judge them. Try to transform their negative thoughts into positive and persuade them to believe it. If you can’t, then just take them to mental health professional.
Over 5000 Nepalese kill themselves every year (According to 5-year data of Nepal Police). About 135 people are affected by suicide and thus are in the need of post intervention support. It’s contagious like a viral disease. There is a taboo: ‘Your over-thinking caused you depression, control your mind’.
Actually, low level of neurotransmitter (serotonin, norepinephrine, dopamine) is the reason behind depression.
Depression is influenced by genetic and environmental factors. Environment can change your body chemistry.
Social difficulties like- prolonged social isolation, exclusion, loneliness, a person who grows up around someone with depression, are more likely to be susceptible to this disease. Women are twice likely to have depression than men.
The role of social media in modern era is to reveal the dark-side of life. It should not always display wonderful part of our life and should not be bragging about our life.
The message to a person who is going through the depressive phase in his/her life is: "I know it’s not that easy as I say, but I just try to find out the root cause of my situation. It may be some incident or my thoughts or any unpleasant experience gathered or nothing at all. Only psychologists can help you find the cause."

Mantra To Overcome Depression:
To overcome this condition, there is a mantra for the depressed person: " It is not that everyone I do good to must be good to me. They can be bad, It’s their choice. It may be unfair for me but that’s how the world works."
Once you find this reason, just accept your flaws, accept whatever bad has happened to you, and forgive the people around you. That very moment you will transform yourself, you will be a hero, a warrior who has won this battle.
Now, you have re-ordered yourself. Nothing can defeat you anymore. But sometimes some experience triggers your condition again. In those situations, just close your eyes, take a deep breath and remember, how you had become a hero, a warrior. You managed to get out of it. Now, it cannot control you anymore because you have a strong control over it.
Lastly, if you somehow feel relatable to everything mentioned above, just remember you’re not alone. Break through your fear, and try come into contact with mental health professionals.
Feel free to contact: Patan Hospital Helpline for Suicide Prevention: 9813476123
Transcultural Psychosocial Organization-Nepal Crisis Hotline: 16600102005
TUTH Suicide Hotline: 9840021600
Basu Acharya (psychologist): 9851177320)

(Koirala is a BSc. student)

How do you feel after reading this news?