“A healthy mind breeds a healthy body” – Zig Ziglar
When my friend recalled how her family reacted to the news of her anxious and depressive state of mind, it lead me to think that among many other things, Depression is still considered a taboo among many middle class Indian families. Coming from one, I could relate how and why her parents were more concerned about “what people will say?” rather than how to help their child. They further aggravated the situation by questioning how could she “get” such a thing when no one else did? It was a slap in the face for me as well, when on asking my family as to what their view were on depression, they responded by saying-” It’s all nonsense, you kids suffer from a little stress, and you name it as depression. We’ve seen tougher times than you, yet we never faced such an issue. You need to learn to be strong”. What my parents, and several other people fail to realize is that those suffering from depression, anxiety or stress, are not the victims, but fighters, who try to reason out with themselves that today is not the day to Quit.
World Health Organization defines depression as a common illness related to severe mental health issues, affecting approximately 264 million people, and resulting in the deaths of roughly 8,00,000 people every year due to suicide. Despite the presence of several effective treatments, most people in middle and low income countries do not receive or seek help for their disorders. The root cause of this problem has been linked to multiple factors, psychological, social or biological- surrounding the individual. The recent being the Covid-19 pandemic and its resultant effects on people from across the world. Millions lost their jobs while helplessly watching their savings dwindling away while being isolated from any social interaction. Those who lost their loved ones to this disease, lost their peace of mind as well. The result? – rise in cases of problems related to mental health.
In one of the surveys conducted by Sangath – an NGO dedicated to mental well being, surge in levels of stress and depression due to Corona virus were reported. This pandemic has caused a mayhem not only in terms of physical health issues, but also increased psychological trauma in many. Though it is understandable as to why anxiety levels are escalating, the growing cases are still of concern. Nearly half of American citizens complained of increased mental health related problems, with 43% Indians suffering from similar issues. The mere fact that people are losing interests in hobbies and are experiencing continuous drop in energy levels, indicate that work load or our fast paced lives, are not always responsible for depression.
The current scenario has forced the medical facilities to prepare themselves for not only the Covid pandemic,but also the behavioral issues associated with the mind. Instead of regarding it as a stigma, the need of the hour is to focus on solutions for this major problem. A mental disorder leaves a deep gash in the mind of the sufferers, leading to life long a impact. If we fail to do anything about this now, we will fail to control it in the future.