A Victim of Depression?

Dr Varun Gupta
If you are – stop being a victim! When I say this, you might think I mean to say don’t feel depressed like it’s in your hands. Well, sort of….
What I’m implying is don’t let yourself feel like a victim. Don’t allow yourself to feel like there is something wrong with you. For example, you get depressed or anxious, well who isn’t? Seriously, depression is the most common illness worldwide affecting somewhat around 264 million people globally almost four times more than Covid-19.
Depression is different from the usual mood changes which are short lived emotions in response to day to day situations like feeling happy and joyful when you get lovely surprises from loved ones, while feeling sad and angry when you suffer from some loss. It is easy to fight depression when it is in the beginning phase with mild symptoms and the battle get too intense with due time because of the increasing intensity and long lasting symptoms with feeling of never ending battle against it. Depression may become a serious illness if left unchecked, it can cause the affected person to suffer a great deal of toll on health not physically much but mentally. At its worst, depression can lead to suicide which is the second most common cause of death in adolescents. Even though we all know, treatment for depression exist still we are unable to avail it because of many reasons either it can be social stigma, lack of resources, lack of trained health care providers last but not the least is inaccurate assessment. While in our country apart from these reasons the challenges which most of the victims face were lack of time in the family as everyone is busy in their daily duties it’s hard to understand what the elders, housewives, children, unemployed youth are feeling. While one of our family members is suffering from depression and we our self being ignorant of that, in some cases those in our family who are suffering from depression blame and punish themselves for their action and decisions and often hesitate to let others know and seek help from them. Irrespective of caste, religion, financial condition depression can affect each of them. Many studies found that females are more prone to depression as compared to males.
How to identify victims of depression?
Person suffering from depression will appear to be alone and aloof, would prefer to be alone all the time, wouldn’t talk much and whenever asked something he will reply in a word or two, he would complain of feeling too weak and unable to carry out his activities, often feeling low most of the time, wouldn’t enjoy doing things which he used to love, after doing a little work he feel his energy levels to be dropping too low, his diet is reduced as compared to previously, often feeling hopeless and worthless, keep blaming himself for no reasons and find himself as burden over others, at night he is unable to sleep, unable to concentrate on anything, often cries without any reason, urges to end his life to get relief from the burden over others.
The intensity of the symptoms can vary from person to person depending on the coping to stress of each person. A person suffering from mild depression will have some difficulty in continuing day to day activities i.e. social work and activities but will not cease to work but a person with severe depression is unlikely to continue his/her ordinary work or domestic work except to a limited extent.
What to do to win against depression?
There are active treatments for mild, moderate or severe depression. The first step you can do is to remove the social stigma and seek out for medical care, help your near and dear ones to get themselves checked up before its too late. There is no harm in getting checked for early diagnosis and treatment so that one can have better quality of life. Other than medical check-up one can start with natural remedies which are effective in battling depression such as
* Developing a routine and following it no matter what you feel stick to it .
* Exercise regularly or brisk walk for at least 20 mins so that endorphins release can help.
* Stop blaming yourself it’s not you, it’s the disease which is making you think like this.
* Don’t be alone, always occupy yourself with others, trust me you will hate it but it helps.
* Write your emotions so that you always feel like venting out the inner negative vibes.
* Most importantly do yoga which help us indulge in something and making us feel doing something useful.
* Meditation helps one to calm his/her mind and keep away the negative thoughts coming to self.
(The author is a Psychiatrist, Jammu)