Dhanteras also known as the festival of...
- One in every 4 women and 1 in every 10 men suffer from depression in India
- 31.9 is the average age when Indians develop the first symptoms compared to 22.7 in U.S. and 18.8 in China.
- 45% teens with symptoms of depression take with alcohol and drugs.
- India routinely scores high on happiness surveys. In the 2014 happy planet index, it ranks fourth out of 151 countries for delivering long and happy lives of its citizens.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF DEPRESSION?
According to WHO, Depression is a common illness worldwide, with an estimated 350 million people affected. Depression is different from usual mood fluctuations and short lived emotional responses to challenges in everyday life.
“For clinical depression, one must have five or more of the below symptoms laid down by the International classification of diseases of the world health organization (WHO) for over two weeks”.
- Doctors say, “Just 10% people come to us, 90% suffer without ever getting the help they need. Many are misdiagnosed. A lot of patients come with fat files full of reports and prescriptions. They move from doctor to doctor, looking for answers. And many others are clueless about their condition”.
- Depression was the fourth leading cause of disease burden in 1990. By 2020, it will be the second most prevalent medical condition in the world, says the WHO.
- Every four minutes, someone commits suicide.
- In South Mumbai, Which has the highest concentration of millionaires, exactly a year ago, 800 people gathered for a funeral of Dipti, 32. A vibrant and charismatic woman, in the grip of a mind numbing depression she had believed she was all alone. They had loved her for her quick smile and bright eyes. And she had thought she was fat and ugly, eternally starving herself on cucumber and olive oil. They had valued her liveliness. And she had plumped the depths of despair in her alone time. They had never understood why someone could be miserable despite having everything.
- If suicide is one way of estimating depression’s spread, consumption of medicine in another. In India antidepressant use has been rising steadily over the past decade, from a market size of Rs 136 crore in 2001, it is now worth Rs 855 crore, and growing at 12% a year, according to a pharmaceutical market research organization.
- There is a site on the internet where anonymous young men and women are coming together since 2013 to share with each other their saddest secrets, heartbreaks to crises at work – on India’s first emotional networking site SharingDard.com. It is started by 4 members- two are from IIM Lucknow, one is a B.Tech from Allahabad, and another one is working with Lenovo. The idea of launching the site was to give a platform to people where they could express their feelings and find someone who could listen and understand them as suppression of emotions leads to sufferings such as anxiety and depression.
- Success is a mirage and when you think you are near to success, you actually feel the void/emptiness inside because you have left happiness far behind in the process to gain it.
In January 2015, “Deepika Padukone speaks about personal battle with depression” Bollywood’s top actress talked about waking up one morning in 2014 “feeling different “ , the “strange emptiness” that stalked her, forcing her to seek psychiatric treatment. ‘How can you be depressed? You have everything going for you. But it’s not about what you have or don’t have.”
(Source: Cover story on Depression the silent killer in India Today magazine, 2 March 2015)
CAUSES OF STRESS
1. Relationship Vs technology- We are not investing our time in relationships, but more into technology. The more cluttered our lives are with work, information, entertainment, technology and other trappings of worldly success, the less we have room for family interactions and sharing of life’s challenges with those who really care. The extended family and neighbors has become a thing of yester years. Today our cities have become crowded yet more people live alone in our cities. The divorce rate is rising and we can see more single person households. Work or education takes us further away from our families and communities. Over the time relationships thin out.
Loneliness acts on our stress hormones, immunity system, our heart, changes our behaviour. Loneliness is also known as the factor for suicide.
2. Making up stories for ourselves- Our mind is very good at fabricating stories and makes us look pitiable. Through these stories we place ourselves as the sufferer or the victim of every problem.
The three core issues of life are –
- I am not good enough
- I am not loved
- I am not safe
E.g. One day a wife thought that I would give a surprise to my husband. When he returned from the office, she made excellent food and decorated the house well and dressed up nicely, in order to please him. But the moment her husband arrived, all her efforts went unnoticed. This made her fabricate a story in her mind and she started repeating following things in her mind- “How can he didn’t notice anything? What has happened to him? This means he doesn’t love me anymore. He has started taking me for granted. I keep working the entire day and this is how he treats me.”
This could end up thinking that now nothing is left in our relationship. On the other hand, if she had forgone the story fabricating activity, she could have directly approached her husband asking- “Is there any problem, is everything fine?” to which her husband could have replied that today he had a bad day at the office. This could have saved her from the emotional turmoil, she went through.
Our mind is good at predicting meanings according to our whims and fancies. We have often found repeating a phrase – “iska matlab… vo mujhse pyar nahi karte, naraaz hain, baat nahi karna chahte, iska matlab… mujhse koi galti hui hai, mujhme kuch kami hai!”
3. Price for Perfection, Depression- It has been observed; even the eminent personalities who we look up to for their perfection in their work, suffer from depression. People who want perfection in life, who set high standards for themselves, who want to achieve much in life: when they are not up to the mark, suffer from depression. The disease called perfection leads them to dissatisfaction in life and they have to pay a heavy price for their habit of perfection in the form of depression.
4. Living for our own self- Happiness is not in living for oneself, but happiness is a by product of giving happiness to others.
Here is a story- A beautiful expensively dressed lady complained to her psychiatrist that she felt that her whole life was empty, it had no meaning. So the lady went to visit a counsellor for happiness. The counselor called over an old lady who cleaned the office floor.
The counselor said to the rich lady, “I am going to ask Mary to tell us how she found happiness. All I want you to do is to listen to her”
So Mary put down her broom and sat on a chair and told her story-
“Well, my husband died of malaria and three months later, my only son was killed by a car. I had nobody, I had nothing left. I couldn’t sleep, couldn’t eat, and never smiled at anyone. I even thought of taking my own life. Then one day a little kitten followed me home from work. Somehow I felt sorry for that kitten. It was cold outside, so I decided to let the kitten in. I got some milk, and the kitten licked the plate clean. Then it purred and rubbed against my leg and, for the first time in months, I smiled.
Then I stopped to think, if helping a little kitten could make me smile, may be doing something for people could make me happy. So, the next day I baked some biscuits and took them to a neighbor who was sick in bed.
Every day I tried to do something nice for someone. It made me so happy to see them happy. Today I don’t know of anybody who sleeps and eats better than I do. I have found happiness, by giving it to others.”
When she heard this, the rich lady cried. She had everything that money could buy, but she had lost the things which money cannot buy.
“The beauty of life does not depend upon how happy you are, but on how happy others can be because of you.”
5. Expectations reduce joy in life– Begging for love from others is mere foolishness because what can a beggar get from another beggar. Expectation from others leads only to disappointments in life. Guru Bhagwan says, You yourself are ocean of love. Try to develop that love within you, which is possible only if we connect to God. The Almighty is the supreme lover. He loves each soul as much as no one does. Worldly love does not weigh even 0.01% in front of the deep concern and vast love of the Supreme lover ‘God’.
6. Much wants more – There is much for everyone’s need but not for everyone’s greed. E.g. In today’s world, how much ever salary, you earn it falls short due to our ever increasing desires for worldly possessions. This leads to depression.
7. Ego is the root cause of all miseries
To be Continued…