Of acceptance, acknowledgement

When Dr Rekha Singh, a general medicine doctor, had panic attacks, felt low on confidence and underwent exam-related stress on opting for further studies. she kept postponing appearing for the examination. This continued till about a year. She tells Metrolife, “We don’t realise that even professionals need mental and emotional help.”

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), one-third Indians of the world’s population are depressed - which is the highest rate of depressed people recorded anywhere in the world.

Despite actor Deepika Padukone accepting that she underwent trauma and one should not let log kya kahenge line dominate, the acceptance about depression at
various levels is yet to come about.

Few months ago, Natasha Singh who is pursuing English Honours from Delhi University underwent depressive tendencies. On a public forum she shares, “Initially, I had to cope alone. I was wondering if I am making myself sad to be ‘cool’? After a point, I did not have control over it. Suddenly even happy things seemed sad to me. Even after that phase went away, you don’t seem to understand, what to do now without that sadness.”

Dr Kavita Arora, child and adolescent psychiatrist explains how ignorance might affect people, especially early in life. She points out that the common perception among people is that if a person is happy, he can’t be depressed.

“That is not how depression manifests. Prevalent studies suggest that one in five out of our urban adolescents is depressed. Where are those voices? When depression happens at a young age, as opposed to adulthood, it is a completely different experience. That is why there is a need to turn this whisper into a conversation,” she adds.

A 30-year -old advertising professional who did not want to seek professional help for the fear of being called “mental”, instead he chose to join an online mental health portal which could connect him to doctors under complete privacy at his own convenience.

He tells Metrolife, “We try telling ourselves to keep on dealing with pressures and not give up but around four to five months back, I faced severe struggle.

That is when I came across e-PsyClinic portal which gave me a platform to explain my issues without having to physically go out to consult a doctor.”
 Using interactive modern technologies of audio, video, chat and messages, such platforms help suggest a way out. Founder and CEO, e-Psyclinic, Shipra Dawar tells

Metrolife, “Our aim is to bring awareness and more actionable awareness. For anxiety and depression sufferers, who don’t have a therapist nearby, and are afraid of being stigmatised or are unable to take time off from work, or just cannot afford to pay for mental health support, online platforms can help them be completely burden-free and share.”

Though some feel that awareness has started to come about, the first step or intervention has to come from the near and dear ones.

Dr Arora says, “Initially, parents or friends may not see it but by the end of two-three weeks, when they feel something is amiss, I would say, listen to that.”

Indicating the difference between, “sadness” and “I feel sad”, she sums up, “Is it medical depression or is the person trying to use the language to convey something else?
Conversations are extremely important. It will help you understand yourself better when you slowly start pouring it out.”

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