I can’t eat, I can’t sleep, I can’t focus………I’m not doing well- This is the story of every you and me. From old “Suli Kak” to today’s “John sab”, From every “Bobhi” to someone’s “Pari”, everyone is lost in space, disconnected from the world, faded like ever old, and receding farther and farther. They don’t want to see anyone. They lie in bedrooms curtains drawn, Shahrukh Salman in hand, imagining the unimaginable flowing with the sluggish waves of self-made sorrows and sadness. Something keeps drowning them until melancholy miserably exhausts their heart and soul. It shouldn’t leave us aghast when a person gets a heart attack or any other life-limiting ailment because of the undue anxiety and depression that nurtures the development of serious diseases and even renders the body inefficient to withstand or recover.
Today, nearly 264 million people worldwide live in a state of depression, more than 75% of people with the disorder do not receive treatment. Every year, close to 3 million people die due to substance abuse. Every 40 seconds, a person dies by suicide. Suicide continues to be a misnomer. People don’t kill themselves; they are simply defeated by the long, hard struggle to remain alive. People inclined to think that in suicide no fight was involved or that someone simply gave up is a wrong notion. When someone finds himself/herself lost in the big, colossal world, it takes time to realize about the whereabouts or he stays lost with the self-injected ants in pants until days and nights feel alike. Life feels hard and unjust to them. Perplexed with what is going around and they fail to realize from which direction the sun rises. There are no quantifying measures of depression it is more of a feeling that needs realization. Normal humans are surrounded by people, they don’t stay alone but if you are running away from people, you don’t want to talk or trust anyone, and feel alone- you are right there on the brink of desolation. Everyone has his secret sorrows which the world knows not; and often times we call a person cold when he/she is only sad. There are wounds that never show on the body that are deeper and more hurtful than anything that bleeds. Depression is less comic than physical pain, but it is more common and harder to bear. The frequent attempt to conceal mental pain increases the burden: it is easier to say, “My tooth is aching” than to say, “My heart is broken.” Depression is like having a body striving for survival carrying a mind longing for death. You often hear people saying, “You can’t understand…. No one understands”- they are right because It’s so difficult to describe depression to someone who’s never been there, because it’s not sadness. I know sadness. Sadness is to cry and to feel. But it’s that cold absence of feeling—that hollowed-out the feeling. If you know someone who’s depressed, please resolve never to ask them “WHY”. Depression isn’t a straightforward response to a bad situation; it evolves over the time. It is altogether a different zone because it involves a complete absence of feeling, absence of affect, absence of interest, absence of response…….Depression presents itself as a realism regarding the rottenness of the world in general and the rottenness of your life in particular. But the realism is merely a mask for depression’s actual essence, which is an overwhelming estrangement from humanity. The more persuaded you are of your unique access to the rottenness, the more afraid you become of engaging with the world; and the less you engage with the world, the more perfidiously happy-faced the rest of humanity seems for continuing to engage with it
There is an inherent fight-or-flight feedback system that mediates our body action. When you are stressed, the nervous system responds by prompting the release of a stress hormone i.e. cortisol-the nature’s build-in alarm system. It helps animals including humans to face physical threats by raising the heart rate, increasing respiration, and redirecting the blood flow from abdominal organs to muscles that assist in confronting or escaping danger. The protective actions evolve from epinephrine and norepinephrine-stimulates nervous system thus putting body on a high alert. But when they are evoked too often it leads to overstimulation resulting in all types of physical discomforts- indigestion, constipation, cramps, and increased risk of heart attack or stroke. While it’s normal to feel depressed from time to time, more than 6 percent of the adults have such persistent feelings of depression that it disrupts personal relationships, interferes with work and play, and impairs their ability to cope with the challenges of daily life. Persistent depression can also exacerbate a person’s perception of pain and increase their chances of developing chronic pain. Anxiety and depression are treatable with talk therapy, medications and cognitive behavioral therapy but can get worse if left unattended. In fact, treatment for any condition works better when doctors understand the pressures patients face that affect their behavior and result in clinical harm. Jvion, a leading healthcare company, uses latest artificial intelligence tools to identify both psychological, behavioral, social, and medical factors to analyze the patients physical and mental network. Improving sleep is especially helpful, Dr. Spiegel said, because “it enhances person’s ability to regulate the stress response system and not get stuck in a mental rut.” Unfortunately, most of the people are unwilling to discuss it for the fear of self-deprecation because people are being judgmental. Mental illness lives all around us-it is well rooted in the families, and friends just for the sake of self-esteem we have forgotten the concept extending a true helping hand. Let’s owe not to solve the serious life problems in the middle of night and broad day light. What mental health needs is more sunlight and more unashamed conversation. You may not have gone where you intended to go, but think you ended up where you needed to be. Healing is an inside job. Rumi rightly said, “The wound is the place where the light enters”.
Atif Khurshid Wani, Research Scholar, Lovely Professional University
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.
The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.