Mental Health Disclaimer-This is not a diagnosis of any kind.

Mind, a very simple word with a complex meaning. How much power this four-lettered word holds is beyond belief. Yet it is the most fragile part of one.

Physical well-being has long been considered a reality while mental health is a myth. A myth that has taken several lives, disrupted relationships, and turned careers upside down. Yet the reality of it is a foreign concept to many. Sadly, India is one of those countries that is still striving for ignorance about this very serious medical condition. While the newer generation is spreading awareness about mental health, certain factors need to be kept in mind.

How serious is mental illness?
First, and foremost, the brain is an organ like any other part of our body. Hence, when the brain is sick, there is as much need for medicine and treatment as for any other illness. The concept of ‘it is in your head’ is messed up because it being in the head doesn’t make it invalid.

What is the solution to mental illness?
After the struggle of acknowledgment is over, comes the question of treatment. Just like yoga, jogging, and healthy eating keeps a body healthy, meditation, singing, painting, and making friends keeps the mind healthy. But after a body is diagnosed with kidney or liver issues, is the patient prescribed to just drinking water and doing yoga?MENTAL No. Similarly, as much as meditation and other activities keep the mind healthy, it’s not enough for someone who is clinically diagnosed with depression or any other mental illness. Therapy and medicine for the wellbeing of the mind need to be normalized. If you know someone who is suffering, your duty does not end at listening to their problems or advising them to meditate or paint. Your responsibility is to find medical treatment. Your support matters but that is a momentary crutch. Seek a permanent solution to illness, not a support for the weakest moments.

“Call me, seek for help”
There’s no ill-feeling behind this statement. They want to help is very clear but how practical is it?
If you have never dealt with a clinically depressed person, here’s the reality. They cannot seek help. In many cases, they feel they don’t deserve help because they are useless. Their inferiority complex overpowers them to believe no one wants to be with them. The root of this could be years of ignorance, oppression, MENTAL and loneliness. Although this isn’t the only reason, one of the major causes of depression is a loss of self-worth. For such a person seeking help is terribly difficult.

Is depression always visible to the naked eye?
NO. It’s not. Although if you’re perceptive, a pattern is often visible.

  • Losing control in emotions, for example, a sudden burst of laughter followed by silence.
  • Hopeless approach to everything in life, often in the concept of life itself.
  • Losing interest in things previously enjoyed by the patient.
  • Not being bothered by death or looking forward to death.
  • Feeling lethargic and disrupted sleeping patterns.
  • Sudden loss or gain of weight or an eating disorder, often to fill the void.
  • Anger, irritation, or behavioral problems is more commonly noticed among depressed men.
  • Severe anxiety followed by breakdowns.

What makes it more dangerous is the fact that these same people, suffering from the symptoms can go out to a gathering and crack jokes if they feel up to it.

Is depression, unhappiness?
Misconstruing depression with something as simple as unhappiness is as wrong as being ignorant about it. Although unhappiness is a feeling closely associated with someone depressed, it’s not the same. If your loneliness goes away with one slice of pizza or a favorite movie, it’s not depression. But if that unhappiness recurs time and again and often intensifies with each comeback it could be depression.

Diagnosing and treating depression at an early stage is very important because just like for any other organ, it could be too late if the treatment is delayed.

In hard times like the current lockdown, focus on self-development but focus on mental even more so. It’s a terrible time to be unkind and unaccepting. Do your bit of meditation and indulge in happy activities but if your feel an unsettling sense of inferiority that is intensifying over time, seek out a therapist before you can’t seek help at all. And if you know someone who is suffering offer them a real therapist instead of a movie suggestion. And above all, be kind, accepting, and humane to all despite any difference, whatsoever. Hail positivity.

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