HOW TO HELP PEOPLE WITH DEPRESSION
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Hi everyone. Welcome to Jeevsutra. I am Parnasha Gupta Roy, Consultant Clinical Psychologist. And today I am going to talk in detail about depression. Watch this video till the end as Knowledge is Power. You have the power to save a life.
Depression is one of the leading cause of disability in the world. The World Health Organization estimated that depression will become the second largest cause of death by reaching epidemic proportions by 2020.
And we are in 2020.
All around us we have been witnessing discussions about the suicide of famous Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput.
Even when Hollywood actor Robbin Williams, and The lead vocalist of Linkin Park Chester Bennington killed themselves the world of social media erupted with hashtags about suicide-prevention and depression.
But somehow the death of Sushant Singh Rajput seems to have affected us Indians more. Is it because the issue is now closer to home?
Sushant Singh Rajput had been suffering from depression, but we were hardly aware about it. In fact even Amitabh Bachhan, Shah Rukh Khan, Karan Johar, Hrittik Roshan, Ranveer Singh, Varun Dhawan, Manisha Koiraka and Neha Kakkar have had their own ups and downs with depression. Anushka Sharma admitted to being treated for anxiety. Deepika Padukone has been very vocal about her struggles with depression. ‘I felt empty and directionless’ she said, but on screen we only saw her smiling face even during her struggle with severe depression.
Depression does not discriminate. It can happen to anybody. It is an illness and required proper treatment.
Some people get confused about the basic concept of what depression looks like.
The friend close to you who you were chatting with yesterday might be depressed.
The girl who clicks beautiful pictures of herself and gets hundreds of likes might be depressed.
The boy in your neighborhood who has not been able to get a job might be depressed.
The child who has suddenly started disobeying might be depressed.
Your mother might be depressed.
Your teenage crush might be depressed.
But you wouldn’t even know about it.
Why is that so?
It is because depression is a silent illness. It can be masked using a smile, or an exaggerated enthusiasm.
Around 200million people in India suffer from depression. An article in India Today which quotes a research reported by the World Health Organization had the headline ‘India is the most depressed country in the world.’
So what is the difference between feeling sad and depression the illness?
Everyone of you have felt sad sometime or the other. It might be because of a quarrel in your family, poor marks in an exam, or even movie plans getting cancelled. But usually this low mood goes away once the situation goes in your favour.
Clinical depression is a different experience altogether. Imagine feeling sad day after day which shows no sign of getting better even if you want it to.
So what are the symptoms of depression apart from feeling very sad?
One of the major symptoms of depression is losing interest in things which you normally enjoy. There might be changes in your appetite, or your sleep pattern. You might feel restless, or that you lack energy. But many of you still say ‘I am fine’.
‘I AM FINE’ because you don’t want others to know what is going on with you.
Because you don’t want to be called ‘mad’.
Because you fear being judged or laughed at.
Because you feel they won’t understand.
Or probably because you are scared and don’t have the proper words to express your pain.
We say, ‘talk to people’, ‘tell them your problems’. But how many people are actually present when we need them?
If you are one of those who actually want to help then these are the three steps you must follow.
1) Identify 2) Listen 3)Refer
I will take you through the three steps one by one.
Let me start with the first step of identifying people with depression or some other mental health issue.
Observe people. Look for changes in their patterns.
The person who is usually very talkative suddenly becomes silent.
Their eyes might appear dull.
Forehead might be creased.
Their posture can be stooped, or their walk slow.
They might appear to be lost in thought.
They might get irritated very easily.
Or, they might even start falling ill frequently.
So once you have identified someone as having mental health issues comes step number 2.
Speak to them. Assure them that you are there for them. And, if they do choose to share their problems with you Listen.
And, Listen without judging or advising too much. Try to place yourself in their shoes and actually feel what they are going through.
And the most important thing, keep what they are saying confidential.
However, if you feel that the person is thinking of suicide, or can pose a harm to others, inform people close to them to keep an eye on them.
The third step is to refer. Clinical depression or other mental health problems are real illnesses which require proper treatment. Just like broken bones don’t get repaired by asking them to get repaired, depression does not go away just by saying ‘don’t feel sad’, or ‘fight it’.
Ask the person to consult a Psychiatrist, a Psychologist, or other qualified mental health professionals. Mental health issues require proper treatment.
Depression is one of the worst feelings ever that you wouldn’t want even your enemies to go through.
Many people who go through depression might feel that they are worthless, might feel guilty, might feel hopeless about the future. Many might even contemplate suicide.
Remember, suicide does not end the pain. It passes the pain to others, and the pain gets magnified.
If you know someone who is going through depression, or if you yourself are battling depression reach out to me. My contact details are given in the description below. We are a team of Psychologists and Psychiatrists. We will walk with you through your journey, through your struggles with depression till you get rid of it completely.
If you have any questions comment in the section below. If there is anything else you want me to speak about that you feel will benefit others do write to me.
Remember to share this video as much as possible with all your contacts. Your one share can probably save a life. Your one share will be proof that you actually care, and someone might confide in you. Help me fight this monster called depression.
This is the time to act and I alone can’t do much. I am building a voluntary team of people who can act as ‘buddies’ for people with depression. If you want to join the team do let me know in the comments section below.
Till then take very good care of yourself.