Depression: a cloud of stigma
Think of Robin Williams and the first thought that strikes is Mrs. Doubtfire. A stand-up comedian par excellence that many have fallen off chairs and sofas laughing so hard. A man of such envious talents, should finally hang himself in his room, is an indication of how depression and loneliness could be vicious.
As members of a co-existent society on earth, maybe we should wonder whether we have failed those like Robin Williams, Heath ledger and back home to our starlets like Divya Bharti, Silk Smitha, Jiya Khan and Parveen Babi who found themselves utterly alone, and opted to end their trauma by taking their own lives.
Depression is not selective and it knows no boundaries. It is an illness and could affect anyone without discriminating on the basis of caste, creed, gender, religion or nationality. People from all walks of life could hide a strain of depression within them, not knowing what to do about it. Prolonged depression within us could cause loss of pleasure, an inability to connect with our close ones, be it, family or friends. We face a loss of energy and hope and if left untreated depression could lead to suicide. A positive reality is that we can beat depression to regain our lost selves.
In 2015, Deepika Padukone broke her silence on depression and in her interview spoke vividly about her hardships in successfully conquering this destructive phase. For every celebrity who speaks out, there are millions who silently let depression devour them from inside. With these stories, we only hope that many find the courage to ask for help.
“We need to realise the importance of looking at depression or anxiety as a curable issue. Many forcefully socialize more or being dependent on another would help, but it does not,” said Suresh Thomas, a clinical psychologist who helps young people in corporate firms to de-stress. He also added, “many try hard to not believe that they are depressed, but a deeper understanding of this issue could actually be the difference between life and death.”
“Everyone thinks a depressed person is sad all the time…but they are just people who cannot stay happy constantly despite knowing there are ways to do that. It’s tedious, requires constant effort and motivation. When you have a job and other circumstances, which demand productivity and presence of mind, it gets even harder,” says a friend, who wishes to stay anonymous.
As a survivor trying to conquer depression she says physical activity like walking and running help, but the key to tackling depression is accepting who you are, your mistakes, your weirdness, your bad experiences.
Ellen DeGeneres, Buzz Aldrin, Michelangelo, Eric Clapton and Sylvia Plath. They are personalities who excelled in their own field, lived their dream and will always remain an inspiration to the future generations. Yet, they share a similar past. They were all victims of a turbulent phase of depression. Well, they came out unscathed, and so will we.