Don't clam up, talk to ease depression

SUICIDAL TENDENCIES

There are moments in every person’s life, when everything appears topsy-turvy. The road ahead looks like a dead end and the thought ‘nothing can be right’ niggles away leaving no space for anything else to enter the psyche.

 Not all those who fight such situations emerge as winners, because at times they take the suicidal route.

Every newspaper has flashed reports of well-known Hollywood actor Robbin Williams’ suicide, but it would be foolish to think that such cases are more in the West because of their lifestyle. 

“We are a depressed generation and will be a depressed nation. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said in its report that by 2020 depression will be the most spread disability,” says Dr Vijay Pathak, consultant psychiatrist at Max Hospital, Pitampura. He reveals that clinical psychologists see cases of depression propelled suicides/attempted suicides, almost every day. “What we see in our profession is just the tip of the iceberg. Living in a stressful world makes one take an impulsive decision. Also, when people have a difficult life and poor problem solving ability, they often think of ending their lives,” he adds.

Indeed, instances of people facing difficulty in maintaining a balance in personal and professional life are on the spiral. And to top it, anxiety and stress are only adding to the alarming scenario. No wonder ‘depression’ has become the fifth largest cause of deaths around the world! “​This may be something that we feel can never happen to us or our circle. But it’s hard to say, how many smiling faces on the outside are thinking of this unfortunate step,” says Talha Sultan Chaudhry who recently premiered his documentary Die Why Die at India Habitat Centre. 

It is purely co-incidental that viewers saw his film last Saturday and woke up on Monday morning to the news of the Hollywood star’s death. 

“The protagonist in my film is also named Robin,” says Talha with a heaviness in his voice as he shares that a similar incident inspired him to make the documentary. “While studying filmmaking in England, one of my friend and fellow filmmaker looked quite depressed. Soon, I read his gloomy Facebook updates and a week later he attempted suicide. Since then I have been quite sensitive to the subject.”

The filmmaker shares that many of his friends in India suffer similar situations and the case worries him. “Though the Government reports state figures for ‘deaths due to depression’ in India, but somewhere the truth is that it is still not considered good to be depressed here vis a vis those who live in the West,” says Choudhary, who having researched on the subject feels that, “atleast 20 lakh people in India commit suicide every year.” Needless to say, a majority of them suffered from depression.

Within closed doors, all of us agree that going to a psychologist or psychiatrist is ‘forbidden’. But the trend seems to be changing now. According to a recent data released by the portal Practo.com, there has been a sudden increase in the number of online searches for psychologists and psychiatrists. In the month of February, approximately 3,336 people in Delhi searched for psychologists online. This figure has risen to 11,043 making it explicit that the more people today are aware of the need to consult a psychologist. 

“According to cookies and search history, people in the age group of 25-35 were the searchers earlier, but now a younger population is making such searches,” says Ashish S Pinglé, marketing manager at Practo Technologies.

It, therefore, becomes important to be alert towards the behaviour of people around you. “If someone is cribbing and complaining continuously, not sleeping well and is breaking down very often, then those who are near must talk to the person,” advises Dr Preeti Singh, senior consultant clinical psychologist, Paras Hospital. She also emphasises that “at times people don’t know how to intervene and end up making the situation worse. It is therefore important to make the patient visit the doctor.”

This might not be easy, so Chaudhry suggests, “Be a little besharam, stop your friend and ask him to talk!” 

Look around you, there might be someone who needs to share.

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