The many taboos associated with Mental Illness and Depression across the world are only brought to light when somebody actually dies and turns into the news. Our perspective are altered and reformed for a few days due to the abundance of fodder thrown to us by media before going back to our own wretched beliefs. It is hard to accept the fact that mental illness can affect anyone and is certainly not to be looked down upon. People are often afraid. They are afraid to speak about things they deal with, things that are too close to home, sometimes it’s things that society tells us are wrong, and sometimes it’s being unsure how to provide support. It doesn’t matter the reason, so many people are afraid to approach depression and other mental health topics because they are afraid it would force them to realize that life isn’t perfect and that people can be suffering and it not be visible.

Depression, sadness, anxiety can be triggered anytime regardless of caste, creed, religion, race and because of anything, minor or major life events, When one is depressed, there isn’t always a specific reason behind it. We are mindful of the cause of our sadness in under normal circumstances and also how to overcome the current situation. But when we talk about depression, one isn’t really able to zero down on the reason behind the feeling of sadness. It so happens that one fine day you wake up and find it extremely difficult to get out of bed.

The real challenge is to identify if we are just going through a bad phase or is it something which needs immediate attention and professional help. The Depressive disorder is a condition wherein (sadness) is coupled with (lack of interest in activities which were once pleasurable). If this persists for more than two weeks and is also coupled with feelings of hopelessness, low self-esteem, sleep and appetite disorders, it can be indicative of the onset of clinical depression. In such situations, it is imperative to seek professional help. Understand that if you feel depressed or low but are still able to carry on daily activities, it might just be a rough phase. If you can sleep through a tough day and wake up the next morning feeling fresh, with renewed energy and motivation to take up life as it comes, probably it was just a bad day. When you are depressed it affects more than one facet of your life – your behavior, daily routine and habits, social circle, personal as well as professional life, interests, health and so on.

I also came across that this is ironic, given that by the year 2020, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, depression is estimated to be the second most common health problem in the world. Further, because of the unjustified stigma that still exists, a large percentage of those who experience depression will not be treated. 75% of us know someone with mental illness. But we may not know they are mentally ill. Because, of course, mental illness is a taboo. And few people talk about it or let on – unless they are so ill that they can’t help it.

2 thoughts on “Mental Illness”

  1. I grew up believing that mental-illness was self-fed and that once I got out of this “phase” I would be able to live a more normal life. It also didn’t help much that I was surrounded by teachers and leaders who constantly told me to “pay attention” or “perk up”. I thought my condition was just a drawn out hormone response. Obviously now, almost twenty, I realize this isn’t something that is just in the mind but in the life. I am diagnosed with this chronically and I still don’t understand it, so how can we expect those who aren’t to accept this disease? I am inspired by your post and I believe my next will be this illness more in depth! Plus, the older I become the more I seem to discover about mental-illness. Thanks!

    1. Firstly, thank you very much for writing, my heart goes out to you. I had been suicidal and depressed for almost 15 years of my life and I recognise your feelings and experiences. I had been repeatedly told to “snap out of it” or “You are not trying hard enough to get over your sadness”. It was unkind and I was devastated but I couldn’t blame them because nobody would ever comprehend the feeling that makes depressed souls weird, vulnerable and stiff. It is never just a phase, there are days when it relapses but thankfully now, I am able to “snap out of it” after ages of practice and attempts to get better. I wish you only the best. We are going to overcome it and come out with flying colours because we deserve better and only the best. Thank you. I wait for your next post on the subject.

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