Depression: This must be a very familiar word to most of us, but how many of us really understand what it is? Different people attach different meanings to it and even pass judgements about the disease and its sufferers based on the half/flawed knowledge that they have. Life throws challenges, struggles and difficulties of all kinds at all of us: young and old, rich and poor, CEOs and the unemployed, etc etc etc, and I’m sure you will all agree that it is essential to have a healthy mind in order to be able to face it and come out of it victorious. A healthy mind is not only needed to get out of problems but is also needed to feel the happiness in one’s life. Wouldn’t life feel like a struggle if one is not feeling healthy mentally?
Think of it this way. You have a mobile phone, and you use it for work, play and all sorts of things: almost everything. What if suddenly your phone starts misunderstanding and misinterpreting your commands? You key in some word on your keyboard and your phone types something different, you compose an important presentation on it and hit save but your phone deletes it instead, and each time you try to update the software of your phone it rejects it. You click a picture of the colourful blooming flowers in a garden and your phone shows a black and white image. You post a picture on social media and instead of showing the number of likes you have got on your photo, your phone tells you how many people saw your picture but did not press the like button. You call someone and when they do not answer your phone, your phone sends you a message saying “the person you just called has his phone in his hand but has chosen not to answer it due to lack of interest”. And the best part, your phone reacts differently at different times, so you cannot predict how it is going to misunderstand your command each time.
This phone is somewhat like the brain of a person in depression. This is just a phone, a device in your hand, but the human brain is far more complex than this. Just assume you are not aware that there is a problem with your phone and you continue using it normally everyday, how will you feel? Irritated? Helpless? Angry? Upset? People tell you that there is no problem with the phone and you are just overreacting, you are making it all up because you want a new phone, you do not have the patience/ability to rectify the problem etc.
How do you feel listening to all this? Surely not happy, right? So next time you face this problem, you decide not to tell anyone about it and try to fix it yourself. When an unhealthy phone, just a phone, can have so much impact on your life, just imagine for a moment how much impact a complex human brain which is not healthy will have on a person’s life. This is just a very small and basic example to illustrate what depression is and how difficult it is to live with it. There is a lot of information out there about this disease, but what is actually required to help someone suffering from it is a good and kind heart.
So think before you judge, think before you use a harsh word, pause and think, because you never know what kind of impact it can have on someone.
- Namrata Munoth