My IG is flooded with “Just a call/text away” stories right now. But hey guys, this woke nonsense that we millennials do on IG dies within a week.
I know there are thousands of you (including the people who called me paagal when I first came out with depression) to lend an ear but a depressed person (and by depressed person I mean someone who has been diagnosed with depression and not someone who claims to be depressed for not getting to eat that last slice of pizza) needs professional help, I’ll get to that a bit later.
Stigma Of Depression In Our Country
The tone of the media coverage of Sushant Singh Rajput’s death clearly highlights how stigmatised depression is in our country. Almost every mainstream news channel ran the headline “Sushant Singh Rajput commits suicide.” What do they even mean when they use the word ‘commit’, the guy didn’t commit a sin.
Then there’s the pados vale uncle category- “But he had everything, how could he be depressed!” Now uncle ji, let me put it in simple words, depression is just another illness. It is caused when there is an imbalance of two chemicals- serotonin and dopamine in our brain.
The mood swings and anxiety are symptoms of this and anyone can be depressed, even the richest person Jeff Bezos can also fall victim to it. Depression doesn’t see how loaded you are before it clutches you. Period.
My Personal Battle With Depression
I have personally fallen prey to the stigma attached to depression and anxiety. I was 16, when I was first diagnosed with severe depression and anxiety. Mom and dad were in denial the first time my hospital reports came and they decided to take me to the dimaag ka doctor, a.k.a a neurologist.
Now this chap who was supposedly the best in town at his profession said that I was suffering from migraine and that my panic attacks were migraine attacks. He prescribed me this medicine which was of no help. In the meantime, mom and dad took me to various pandits who suggested different totkas that would aid in curing this disease. The worst of all was I was asked by my parents to not share this with anyone, including my friends cause they feared ostracism.
Road To Recovery
My health was spiralling. I was somehow turned into this lab rat and different experiments were being tested on me. You must be wondering by now as to what was my take in all of this.
I could not process the fact that something was not right with me but what made it worse was how people were reacting around me. It took me 2 years to come to terms with it and one day I woke up deciding to not feel the way I had been feeling all this while. If only it were as easy as they showed it in Dear Zindagi but who am I kidding, I ain’t Alia Bhatt.
So step one on the road to recovery was to get my parents on board. Oh boy, telling them that I flunked my math test would have been a whole lot easier. The conversation ended with my in house doctor, my mom saying that it’s gastric pain that’s somehow reached to my brain and whatever is happening is simply in my head. Dad was pretty much being dad which meant he was totally bummed out. They did turn out to be supportive eventually when they saw me breaking down after a severe panic attack.
Step two on the road to recovery was to open up to my friends cause I was done being lonely. Albeit not all were supportive, some said that it was just another one of my attention seeking tactics but on the brighter side there were ones who were my backbone throughout my recovery.
One day I finally mustered courage and got myself to see a shrink with whose professional guidance and medication I recovered. There were times that I almost gave up and decided to break up with my therapists but my fam would drag my ass to his couch. The road to recovery was bumpy and long (3 years) but I did emerge out to be a survivor.
How We Can Normalize Depression By Talking About It
The next thing on my to do list was to open up about my struggle because the more and more people talk about it, that is when they normalize it.
It shouldn’t be all hush hush, after all its just another illness. So, those of you who are reposting these ‘just a call/text away’ stories, make sure that you don’t ghost those who seek out for your help. When your friends/ loved ones say that they’re fine, make sure that they mean it. On the contrary, reassure them that it’ll be all be okay and drag them to a professional.
Instead of criticizing the person who killed himself by saying that suicide is a coward’s move, try understanding what drove him to do so in the first place. Imagine how lonely he must have been that neither could he confide in anyone nor could the people around him figure out that what was disturbing him. Suicide is a systematic process, not that a person wakes up one find day and decides to take his own life. Let Sushant Singh Rajput’s death be an eye opener rather than just another breaking news.
Rest In Peace Sushant Singh Rajput.
Sources: Blogger’s Own Experiences
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