One of my friends called me last night and she told me something which she ‘only’ shared with me, she was suffering from depression. Her mother had passed away a couple of months ago and my friend, being the closest to her, was disturbed. I believe the fact that she realises her problem and is ready to fight it is her biggest strength. Unfortunately, when she discussed it with her family, they thought that her life is screwed and they didn’t want her to talk about it to anyone. Try to recall and analyse your reaction when I mentioned that she is suffering from depression.
When she told me her problem, the first thing I suggested was visiting a doctor. She wanted to see a doctor too but was afraid how her family or anybody who knows her will react once they come to know about it. I mean really? What do you think she was scared of? That she was unwell? Or that she requires to see a doctor? Or the fact that the ‘society’ will see it as some mental problem? I don’t understand what’s wrong even if it is a mental problem?
I don’t know about the rest of the world, but as far as Indians are concerned, I don’t understand a single logical reason why they are scared to go to a psychiatrist. Most of the people here have this perception that if you visit a psychiatrist, you are crazy! That is just so illogical. The most surprising part is that even the educated class talks like this! Moreover, people don’t want to be termed as “mental patients”. As per a survey published in the Indian Journal of Psychiatry, one third of the people consider psychiatrists themselves to have mental health problems, and most psychiatrists choose their profession because they have personal problems of their own. Now that sounds weird. Doesn’t it?
There are some people who don’t acknowledge their mental health problem. They just don’t want to! And the negative part is that they are unaware of how severe the problem might turn out to be if not treated well in time. If you feel low most of the time, don’t want to interact much with people around or want to cut yourself off from the society, don’t believe that the problem isn’t that bad. Please visit a psychiatrist. Talk to your doctor about your problem and work on it before it worsens. It’s a simple Math guys, just like other parts of a human body, the brain might not function well at some point in time. Why is it shameful? You must not feel ashamed to acknowledge it.
Here is a checklist which might help if you, at any point in life, feel depressed:
- Stay connected
Talking to people helps the most in overcoming depression. Take part in as many social activities as possible and reach out to people because the tendency is to cut off from the society and isolate yourself and staying connected might not be easy. Understand that talking about your depression is not showing your weakness. If you think that way, then probably talking about you having a high fever or may be your sinuses is you being weak too. People who love and care for you want to help you. Even in case you feel that you have no one to talk to, there are a lot of websites online which have counselors whom you can talk to and share your problems with. Let it out!
Research shows that if you exercise regularly while feeling depressed, it really helps. Be it walking, running, weight training, swimming, martial arts, Zumba, dancing, anything which makes you exercise will do wonders. If you have a dog, take it for walk more often than you do in normal.
- Soak yourself in sun
Would you mind taking your morning coffee or reading that book out in the sun? Or a post-lunch walk with your colleague? Sunlight can help lift up your mood. At least, it helps me! The crack is to expose yourself to sun for at least 15minutes a day. It’s magical!
- Indulge in things which makes you happy
Cooking, dancing, writing, road trips, movies, chocolates or gulping down a big tub of ice-cream. Do anything and everything which makes you happy. It is likely to make you feel better.
- Get Professional Help
If you believe that even after trying to help yourself by following all the steps mentioned above isn’t helping anymore, seek professional help. Remember, depression can be treated, just requires your timely efforts. Also, don’t forget to follow the self-help tips even when you are seeking professional help.
It’s high time we raise above all these illogical notions of not talking about it or feeling ashamed of it. It’s as natural as suffering from cold. Be vocal about it and fight it out at the right time. And it’s totally okay to feel low at times, just know how to deal with it bravely! I personally write and write a lot when in stress. That’s a stress buster for me. Know yours and practice it!