15th June, 2020
Depression, a “hush-hush” word which even though any of us or our family member might be going through, no one really would want to admit or share, out of the sheer fear of being socially judged and looked differently at. There are people and families who quietly endure the suffering only to avoid the social stigma and maintain a “normal, acceptable image’ in the society.
A lot of undue importance is given to physical fitness, our appearance, accessories, our home decor,brand of our vehicle, absolutely anything that is visible to the naked eye of the society to evaluate and for us to create an image of self esteem and pride.
Today, with the unfortunate and sad news of Sushant Singh Rajput’s suicide doing the rounds in media with a probable link to his depression, no one really would have thought before this incident that a handsome, talented, successful, well educated actor like him who has acted in so many hit movies like Kai PO Che, M.S.Dhoni, Chhichhore, all of which had a positive message involved, would take such a drastic step to end his life or would have been in depression. Not so long ago, even the famous actress Deepika Padukone became vocal about her depression and the need to be open about it. It was indeed an appreciable initiative and a brave and commendable act on her part, being a star, a socially influential personality, to step up and address a sensitive issue like this on public platform.
There is peer pressure at school, colleges, work place, in fact even in one’s neighborhood where some or the other extra witty, non-brain applying, free of cost critic is always present to make one feel small, unworthy, unhappy about oneself by their not so required, not so thought of, rude, callous and judgmental comments, comparisons and gossips. These unpleasant experiences too add to a person’s anxiety and stress causing depressive feelings.
Social media, even though is a big and helpful tool to bring the world close and make it very well connected, but like any other “good thing” it has its negative side effect too, of bringing the “Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO). The pressure of indirect comparison, the social anxiety, the feeling of one’s life not being “good enough” on the parameters set by the society on the social media displaying their vacations/outings/celebrations….
If only one could see the actual reality that the grass is not always green on the other side of the fence, it is greener only where it’s looked after, watered and cared for.!
We need to understand clearly and accept that depression is a combination of how one feels about himself and how his surroundings/the society around him makes him feel. We, as humans have a greater responsibility towards mankind to ensure that we should not be the contributing factor to anyone’s depressive feelings. If we cannot encourage the least we can do is not to discourage!
When we say that we are friends, it is us who have to remember that it brings the responsibility of being there for each other, to lend a shoulder to cry on, to lend an ear to hear out, to hold a hand when it reaches out for us not only in the good times but also in bad. We have to pledge not to be judgmental, value each person, each life and no matter whose path we cross we have to leave a positive and pleasant impact. There is a lot we can do constructively for ourselves and the society only if we decide and act accordingly.
Depression is a problem related to a person’s mental wellness and it does have a solution, but first and foremost it’s in our hands as a responsible part of the society to make this an “acceptable” health concern which needs medication without being judged for !
“Taboo” associated with expressing a mental concern or situation , the embarrassment associated with it has started with us, with our reactions and it is only us who can change it, it has to end with us.!! Let us be the initiator of something good, the initiator of an assurance that everything and everyone is worthy and acceptable without the fear of meeting up to some artificial standard of right or wrong or perfect!
The first step to come out of Depression is “acceptance”. “Acceptance” – by the person having depression and his family that he needs help and the “Acceptance” – by his social surroundings, the people around him that its okay to not be okay at times and seek help for the same. Each one of us is broken yet beautiful in our own way and that my friend, is perfectly alright!!