Depression is the most noxious disease, next only to cardio-vascular diseases, that grapples the modern world today. Dr.Dhanya Girish, analyses the gravity of the disease and the need of timely attention to be provided
“Wither is fled the visionary gleam..
Where is it now, the glory and the dream..”
Scribbled Wordsworth, in a frantic state, when he found himself in emptiness…., when an unknown morbidity dwarfed his meristem. He himself had once written: “My heart leaps up When I behold a rainbow in the sky So was it when I was a child So is it when I’m a man So be it when I grow old. Or let me die.” So, it is no wonder if he had committed anything extreme, but fortunately nothing happened, as he was very rich with a hoard of bosom friends. But in the case of the American poet Sylvia Plath, the thing was reverse. When she found an uncertainty in all phases of her life, she was resorted to kill herself, as she had been left alone with two infants. Such incidents of uncertainty, emptiness, eeriness, desperations, partings, failures, torturing illnesses, financial tightness….and like .. a long list of negativities constitute the human life. We, the humble humans are supposed to receive it wholeheartedly. No other go. If not, we will have to succumb to the state of ‘depression’- (the clinical connotation of the disease in which one loses oneself- sometimes for ever).
If you ask where this happens the answer is globally. This is somewhat a global breakdown. However, now we have the statistics of the WHO showing a sky rocketing in the number of mental patients across the world. It also threatens that, by 2020, after cardiovascular diseases, depression is likely to be the biggest problem facing the world. So this has to be taken with utmost seriousness, if the world goes like this, (along with the drastic climate changes and natural calamities). Humans are not simply the inhabitants of the earth, but they are part and parcel of the macrocosm. So something that affects the Nature will definitely have a direct consequence in its microcosms. Subsequently, we face a variety of miseries both internally and externally, individually and socially. But in India, often depression is not even considered a form of illness until it is too late and beyond the curative stage. While in US, it is talking about the mental health openly, the stigma attached with mental ailments clogs Indian spectrum, to utter it aloud. So psycho-somatic symptoms are prevalent here which is the secondary stage of depression. The general physicians in India are least bothered to debunk it and they simply swirl around the same old scribbles of tabs and caps.
When someone in the family is depressed, the whole family is affected. Depression is a silent killer that sucks the energy, joy and self-esteem out of a person’s life. As in the case of the great bards, any one can have the similar feel at any time in life. We will have a lot of ups and downs in our life. If the ‘down’ or the ‘down feel’ persists, it has to be watched. The unfortunate thing is that, we often fail to recognize or identify this disease in its early stage. Even a close friend cannot come to a conclusion that his friend is undergoing a depressed state, though the latter is found in a melancholy mood. He will treat it, as it is of certain momentary stress – may be due to a failure in the exam or parting of his lover. Perhaps, that mood will perish within days. But if it persists, we can label it as depression, since feelings and emotions have its own curing methods to heal a wound. In fact, there is no known cause for depression. It is believed that genetics, stress or physical illness, medication etc may trigger an imbalance in brain chemicals resulting in depression.
Depression is not a weakness, but a serious health disorder. True friends and trained therapists can help a depressed one, learn more positive ways to think, change behavior, cope with problems and handle relationships. But unfortunately, India is almost devoid of the aforesaid persons with a will for the same. Genetics, stress, medication, hormonal imbalance, substance abuse, character traits etc are the main causes of depression. But if you think for a while, these kinds of things were already there from the origin of human life. Then why the disease is exhilarating as never before, now? So the main villain comes out of the group. It is nothing but stress. Today’s life invites stress in every nuance of its modus vivendi. While the globe is revolving faster than before, even though it has been shrunk into a small village, humans are panting to cope with its pace. In India, the all pervading problem was unemployment, some two decades back. Now with the liberalization policies of the government, multi national companies came in, one by one. We welcomed them with red carpet. They were wedded to the economically back institutions here. They extended their helping hands and we assured with a return hand. Now we have our youth all employed with handsome packages. But if a rummage through this area will reveal that no one is sticking to such profession for long. No sincerity or adapted ness to the profession and vice versa. No professional ethics, only professional dress code. This trend has turned the Indian professional scenario, upside down. The hierarchical system provided in such organizations, are attributed to throw mean language at the subordinates and ‘motivating’ them to achieve ‘higher goals’. There is no space for clemency or palpable leniency, even at the pyre of one’s mother, if it is happened on the ‘closing date’. This triggers not his enthusiasm, but his frustrations which he reiterates towards his family members, creating some sort of strife and stress. The daily uneasiness lashes out in the home ambience; make the members detached with each other. They go out on their own. Each member becomes an independent island under the same roof.. Those who have no other choice either shrink into the television set or fall into the fathoms of depressions. That is why, the number of women patients (of depression) are twice more than that of men.
Usually women will have to thrive in multiple roles, in the modern life. Even though she is well educated, she has to succumb to the role of home maker. If she is employed, she has to dabble across the arena. If she has had a habit of general reading, some kind of scratches and its smoldering will be there in her mind, to blow the fire inside. This may result in major depressions, which definitely require clinical therapies. Always women are incurred to shoulder the sole responsibilities of at least the kitchen and the kids. Without a shoulder to cry upon, sometimes she shakes off the communal frames or resort to either depression or self killing. This happens mainly in nuclear families where there is no space for sharing and caring, if the bread earner is a ‘target maniac’. Kids come from school with a hoard of projects and homework and they don’t have time to chat with the mom. Subsequently the mom becomes a maid and the wife becomes a bed mate in her shrinking world. Loneliness boosts the morbidity much stronger. She deviates from her daily routines to a sedentary state and trails off. Besides, it is common for mothers to feel a mild form of gloom that usually occurs a few days to weeks after giving birth, characterized by feelings of sadness, anger, anxiety and irritability.
Types of depressions are many in doctor’s word. But detecting and defining it is the most difficult part involved. If that part is over, we can categorize it under different subheads and treat it accordingly. Certain situations or an unpleasant experience can be so stressful that you my fall into depression. Death of someone beloved or extreme financial tightness can be some among those morbid situations. This kind of depression is easily curable, if diagnosed and treated properly. Sometimes prolonged periods of such situational depression can alter your brain functions resulting in chronic depression. This is a serious form of depression which affect the brain functioning. An imbalance in the various neurotransmitters can lead to some serious problems. Some depressions are related to the seasonal changes. Some people tend to stay in darkness, avoiding exposure to sunlight, often. Headache, irritability and fatigue are the symptoms of this kind of depression. Another one is bipolar depression, in which the patient is having emotions at two extremes – either being extraordinary joyful or extreme sadness. He swings between these two extremities without a concrete reason.
What (the doctor says)
If the ailment to which a doctor treats is continuing even after repeated medication, the doctor should have an introspection to check out whether this is psycho-somatic or fake feel. It is the first step involved in the treatment of depression. And this part absolutely lies with the doctor in charge. Timely treatment will make miraculous changes in the patient, is an assurance from the doctors. They give us these tips to follow: Avoid stress by not taking more than that you can handle. Whenever you have a tendency to blame yourself for a bad thing, remember that it arises out of the depressed state of your mind. Avoid being lonely and involve in certain things in which you are interested. Whenever you come across a situation in which you have to take a major decision, leave it to your trusted ones. Avoid the use of alcohols and other intoxicants, which will delay your recovery. Do yoga moderately. It will rejuvenate your body and mind. Take enough nutritious food, plenty of water and the prescribed medicines in time. Follow your doctor’s advice properly. Defeat your depression thus by detecting, diagnosing, defining and combating with it. It may take months to recover, sometimes, but don’t lose your heart. You can definitely have that visionary gleam, once you missed..