We come across so many articles and interviews of people talking about what makes them feel low, their depressive phase, their failures, their loss but what do we actually takeaway from it? Depression is one of the most commonly discussed mental health conditions and yet, when the time comes, people still remain either unaware or feign ignoranceabout it.



WHAT IS DEPRESSION?

Imagine being stuck in a dark room, desperately searching for a light switch but not able to find it no matter how hard you try! Depression is a similar condition only ten folds more difficult, more intense and longer in duration. Depression is a condition that affects your mood and ability to function.
Depression is characterized by three major features: HOPELESSNESS, HELPLESSNESS, WORTHLESSNESS.


SYMPTOMS OF DEPRESSION

Our body/mind sends signal that something is quite not right with it, the biggest challenge is to understand these signals at the right time; whether in relation to your own self or others.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common signs to watch out for:
  • ◈ Increased frequency in mood changes.
  • ◈ Social isolation.
  • ◈ Increased difficulty with maintaining focus/concentration.
  • ◈ Noticeable changes in sleep cycle (oversleeping-unable to sleep) and/or hunger pattern (overeating-undereating).
  • ◈Being unable to enjoy previously enjoyable activities.
  • ◈ Increased fatigue/tiredness.
  • ◈ Increased difficulty with maintaining focus/concentration.
  • ◈ Frequent crying, sometimes with no actual reason.
  • ◈Suicidal thoughts or expressing a desire to self-harm.


HOW COMMON IS DEPRESSION?

The presence of Depression is more common than it gets talked about or treated;

“World Health Organization estimates that India will suffer economic losses amounting to a staggering 1.03 trillion dollars from mental health conditions between 2012 and 2030.”

“The covid pandemic made matters worse by increasing the depression and anxiety cases by over 25% globally.”

“Maharashtra’s BMC-Mpower 1 on 1 mental health helpline received about 45,000 calls within the first two months of the pandemic. Of these, 82 per cent of the callers complained of anxiety, isolation, uneasiness, and depression, while others stemmed from sleep irregularities and exacerbation of pre-existing mental health issues.”

“An ORF survey reported that 65 per cent of nearly 6,000 youth aged 18-32 years felt lonely during the lockdown, and 37 per cent felt that their mental health had been ‘strongly impacted’.”

“As per the National Mental Health Survey, 1 in 20 people in India are depressed, and 1 in 40 people have experienced depression in the past.”


Although mental health treatment in India is still surrounded by stigma, seeking help is definitely the better choice than suffering through it. By not talking about it or seeking help for it, the condition will only get worse. In this case, ignorance is definitely not a bliss. Similarly, if you’re in a position to encourage someone to seek mental health services, make sure you do it. If you know better, do better.

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