A Depressed Nation

A Depressed Nation

1,35,445 suicides in India in 2012. 15 suicides an hour. 371 suicides a day. 17% of world’s suicides in the land of the golden bird. This ‘progression towards regression’ surely is an alarming situation, as India is secretly slipping into dark lanes under the pretence of ‘India Shining’. Why such an important subject is not openly being spoken about?

Do even disorders need brand ambassadors? Why do we need a Deepika Padukone to make it a talking point?

Many psychologists and doctors believe that suicide is a mere trigger reaction to unaddressed issues that have been piling on. The World Health Organization (WHO) says that the burden of depression is 50% higher for females than males, which means that for every male suicide, there are two female suicides.

Now this is a moment of introspection. In the quest for success, have we gone a little too far?

Have we succeeded at the academic and/or financial front only to fail ourselves miserably at the art of living life?

Stress levels have gone up right from school level which spreads it poison well into the old age. Excessive expectations to excel, excessive pressure to meet our own and others’ expectations, but inadequate thought on how to undo the harm we are unknowingly causing to ourselves is just a prologue, but to a grim farce.

“Yeh Beti nahi, Beta Hai Mera..”

It is an undeniable fact, and sadly so, that even today, when we hear so many stories of Indian women achievers, it’s not rare to hear condescending remarks passed at daughters by fathers who wanted a ‘chirag’ for their ‘khandaan’. For it might have failed us as a society, but it never fails to amaze me how deep the roots of patriarchy have made place in our minds while strongly binding our cerebrum to interlock it with such complexity that it can never be unlocked to think again on what things like these actually mean. This statement, in fact, is the first green flag to the train of depression amongst young daughters to excel and prove to the world that although she is a daughter who is supposed to be inferior by birth, but she is no less than her male counterparts who, supposedly, are superior by birth.

The seeds of depression that are sown in the early days, are watered by the upsurge of hormones associated with puberty, changes in body shape and emerging sexual identity that all contribute to the onset of depression in young women. At a time when she is already trying to cope with the sudden changes, failed relationships make those seeds germinate.

Astonishingly, as much as 4% of the suicides are caused due to failed relationships, especially in today’s times of instant break-up and instant patch-up.

A whopping 6773 suicides in India in 2014 were triggered by marriage related issues. Coping with changes in family and lifestyle, especially if all is not hunky dory, further helps in the growth of the ‘weed’ of depression. Add to that infertility, and the situation gets worse, given the fact that even today, the primary goal of many women’s lives is to raise a child. Pregnancy depression, too, is common, affecting between 14 and 23 percent of expecting women.  And it’s no wonder that women are even more susceptible to depression when they’re expecting.

Surging hormones, coupled with stress, anxiety and societal pressure to feel a certain way can cause toil to a woman’s emotional state during pregnancy. Couples who plan a baby when the mother is not emotionally prepared often leads the mother to hate the child, which is again a consequence of postpartum depression.

As women are plunging forward and are steadily leaving men behind in the race to success, stress levels are obviously on the rise.

How often we talk about inspiring business women and success stories of women entrepreneurs, but we never talk about what all goes into reaching those heights of success.

It will always be more difficult for women to succeed at the official front than men, as a woman would probably never be able to neglect family for work. She can rule the boardroom, but she would want to rule the boardroom only if she is able to rock the cradle. Failure as a wife, failure as a ‘bahu’ and failure as a mother are just a compendium of the variegated leaf of a woman’s suffering. Irrespective of her competence, she is always required to prove that she is as worthy as men at the workplace. Instances of sexual harassment in office make the situation worse.

Going To A Therapist

The problem with India is that here, anyone who goes to a counselor/psychologist/psychiatrist is deemed MAD by the society. “Haye haye vo pagal ho gaya?”. This mindset is reflected in the shockingly poor ratio of the number of people who need treatment to the number of people who go for treatment. In fact, the number of registered psychiatrists isn’t even close to the number of psychiatrists needed.

NIMHANS estimates that India needs at least 12,000 psychiatrists. The reality is, there are less than 3,500 registered psychiatrists in the country. That’s approximately one psychiatrist per 3,00,000 people.

But no, India still needs more engineers than psychiatrist. It needs to be realized that depression is just another disorder that can be treated. It is mostly accompanied by the “Log-kya-kahenge” disorder that CAN’T be treated.

Dear Individual, you need to accept the fact that you are facing trouble, when you feel anxious, and depressed. Dearest Family, you need to forget what Sharmaji will say. Only you can save yourself.

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