These days everywhere you look, you spot people talking about things not going right or how they feel stressed and "depressed". Depression has hit society in the worst way ever - right from adults to kids being impacted by it at different intensities. Research shows that 1 in every 5 people goes through depression or mental health issues in any given year.
Before we understand what depression is, let's clarify at the outset what it isn't. Depression is not feeling sad or feeling depressed momentarily. Unknowingly, we stereotypically portray depression as sadness with the extensive usage of the word.
Dr. Chandni Tugnait, a psychotherapist, life and business coach, and founder-director of Gateway of Healing says, depression is not being unhappy; it is not anger, fear or loneliness - it is none of these individually and yet it is all of these and much more.
Depression is being numb. It is nothingness. It is exhausting. It takes away all motivation and leaves a feeling of hopelessness. There is a lack of energy - it's more like a void where nothing grows or changes, where time does not exist, where there is nothing and no one. Of course, it is difficult for the person trying to cope with it as well as for the people around them.
Sometimes depression is chronic and evident but a lot of times one isn't aware of it and sometimes one is even able to camouflage it in the garb of routine & forced positivity - this last type, by the way, is the worst as sometimes we lose them to suicide - just like that - no warning, no sign, as per Dr. Tugnait.
The line between clinical depression and feeling depressed is quite fragile and often we find inappropriate self-diagnosis in this regard. Clinical depression is accompanied by a feeling of impending doom without any reason, every day, for over two weeks continuously along with fatigue, loss of interest, insomnia, etc. However, one may feel depressed for a while due to a difficult event like losing a job/loved one, etc. and may confuse it for depression and begin to pop pills. It's important to be aware of the difference - the ability to get up and fight back against these feelings, instead of accepting them or thinking that they will simply go away on their own or never go away.
The deeper the roots of depression, the more time it takes for a person to heal. It keeps a person in the loop of ï¿½being low' and makes them self-damaging. The symptoms could range from crying all day to being unable to get up from the bed to work, bathe, or even eat.
Then there are the happy and high functioning depressed people who have smiling depression. A high functioning depressed person appears energetic, carefree and cheery on the outside, most of the time and people close to them never get to know that on the inside they are being sucked into a black hole. Strangely, they would go out of their way to keep others happy, masking their own sadness.
When alone, they cry, contemplate suicide and feel exhausted from all the pretending. Why do they pretend? Well, it's funny that each time we ask someone, "How are you?", we are looking at "I am fine, thank you" as the response because if someone starts sharing how they really are, we are quick to tell them not to sulk or look at the bright side. Sharing and sulking are two different things. The fear of being judged is deeply ingrained in our beings and hence it seems like a better proposition to endure the depression in silence than to voice it out.
Contrary to what most people feel, you can't lose depression simply by 'looking at the bright side'. You may be able to camouflage your feelings to save others from getting bothered (or to save yourself from the guilt of it all) but this is plain masking and not copying or healing. People suffering from depression can't "cheer up" and that adds to more frustration.
With every depressed person (and even those suffering from anxiety or other mental health issues) there is a constant 'need' to be themselves or be how they were earlier or be how their friends and family would like them to be. This chase to "be that person" is precisely why most people, despite all the efforts and therapy, are unable to snap out of it.
Dr. Tugnait lists some ways to deal with depression-
Acceptance- Accept self and others (with or without depression) without asking for a change. This is the first step in healing. You can't change something if you resist it as the resistance keeps the energy flowing in that same direction that you wish to alter. Haven't you fought enough already? Let's change the dynamics and accept it, to release it.
Compassion- Choose compassion. Choose the wholeness of being instead of viewing yourself as someone who needs 'fixing'.
Routine- Fix a morning routine to take time to feel gratitude, meditate, read a few pages of a book while sipping tea, exercise, write a journal, sleep for 7-8 hours daily and take a cold shower.
Seek Support- Ask for help and seek professional support from a therapist in case the situation is extreme despite the self-help, positive lifestyles changes and support from family and friends. There's no shame in seeking help to be healthy!
Everyone should be more accepting of mental health issues without any judgments. Take the leap of faith when you feel ready. Until then, just breathe! You are doing fine. Depression is real but so is hope and recovery.
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Mumbai, June 5 (IANS) Actress Amyra Dastur on Saturday shared a social media note talking about her father's experience with Covid-19. She says she'll never forget the feeling of utter terror and helplessness.Amyra posted a string of pictures with doctors and healthcare workers. Alongside the image, she wrote: "My father was admitted into hospital on the 12th of May 2021. What started off as fever and a cough developed into pneumonia caused by covid (even though all his tests were negative). His O2 dropped and his body began deteriorating to the extent he had to be shifted into the ICU. It was touch and go over that weekend."The actress said that she will never forget that feeling of helplessness."I'll never forget that feeling of utter terror and helplessness. A feeling almost all the families in India have experienced or are currently experiencing. Dad managed to stabilise by the 17th of May but had to undergo other tests which basically lead to him needing a double bypass that was conducted in Masina Hospital," she wrote.Now, her father is back home and recovering. "Dad came home yesterday. Still recovering but definitely better. That's only because of the amazing doctors and nurses who made sure he fought everything and truly took care of him. I can't thank these heroes enough," she said.Amyra added: "The long shifts they're working and with constant hope in their eyes for all their patients. It truly was something else."She then spoke about violence against doctors. "I just want to end this post by requesting everyone not to harm doctors or nurses. As someone who's been on the other side, seeing their loved one almost taken from them, I can only try to imagine the pain some families have gone through. I can't imagine what I would've done if I lost my father but attacking doctors and nurses surely isn't fair."She concluded: "They truly are working their hardest and they need our support. We can't afford to hurt the people who are risking their lives to save ours. #stopattacksondoctors #staysafe everyone and take care of yourselves and your families."--IANSdc/vnc
New York- If depression is making it more difficult for some unemployed people to land a job, one type of therapy may help, research suggests.
The findings indicated that 41 percent of unemployed or underemployed people undergoing cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) found a new job or went from part-to full-time work by the end of the 16-week treatment for depression.
Those who had a job but found it difficult to focus on and accomplish work tasks because of depression said the treatment helped to significantly reduce these problems, the researchers said.
"CBT helps patients overcome these views by teaching them that the experience of depression is not their fault and that they can take steps to improve their concentration and accomplish work more successfully even when experiencing depressive symptoms," said researcher Daniel Strunk from The Ohio State University.
For the study, published in the journal Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, the team involved 126 people who participated in a 16-week course of CBT, that teaches coping skills that help patients counteract and modify their negative beliefs.
In this study, 27 patients were seeking to improve their employment status (land a job or go from part-to full-time) at the beginning of treatment. Eleven of them (41 per cent) had succeeded by the end of the 16 weeks.
CBT had a clear impact for those who had jobs and reported at the beginning of the treatment that depression was hurting their effectiveness.
The findings showed that one way CBT had this effect was by reducing patients' "negative cognitive style," or the extent to which patients view negative events in overly pessimistic ways, according to the researcher. (Agency)
Singapore, Jan 28 (IANS) One in every three adults, particularly women, younger adults and those of lower socioeconomic status, are experiencing psychological distress related to Covid-19, a new study suggests.The study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, indicates that women are more likely to experience psychological distress than men is consistent with other global studies that have shown that anxiety and depression are more common in women."The lower social status of women and less preferential access to healthcare compared to men could potentially be responsible for the exaggerated adverse psychosocial impact on women," according to the researchers, including Tazeen Jafar from the Duke-NUS in Singapore.For the study, the team performed a meta-analysis of 68 studies conducted during the pandemic, encompassing 2,88,830 participants from 19 countries, to assess risk factors associated with anxiety and depression among the general population.They found that, among the people most affected by Covid-19-related anxiety or depression, women, younger adults, individuals of lower socioeconomic status, those living in rural areas and those at high risk of Covid-19 infection were more likely to experience psychological distress.Younger adults, aged 35 and under, were more likely to experience psychological distress than those over the age of 35. Although the reasons for this are unclear, previous studies have suggested that it might be due to younger people's greater access to Covid-19 information through the media. This current study also confirmed that longer media exposure was associated with higher odds of anxiety and depression, the researchers said.Other factors associated with psychological distress included living in rural areas; lower education, lower income or unemployment; and being at high risk of Covid-19 infection. However, having stronger family and social support and using positive coping strategies were shown to reduce the risk of psychological distress."Understanding these factors is crucial for designing preventive programmes and mental health resource planning during the rapidly evolving Covid-19 outbreak," Jafar said.--IANSvc/in
New Delhi, Jan 16 (IANS) Manish Kumar (34) was oozing with confidence and satisfaction, which he had not experienced before, after taking the first jab of Covaxin at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences here, becoming the first person in the country to be vaccinated against coronavirus.Kumar, who has been working as a sanitation worker at AIIMS for the past eight years, put up a bold face to those who are spreading misinformation about the ill-effects of the Covid-19 vaccines. "I am feeling very happy after taking the vaccine shot. I have not felt any adverse reaction. Whatever fears people have for this vaccine, there is nothing of that sort," Kumar told mediapersons.Soon after Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the nationwide Covid-19 vaccination drive virtually at 10.30 am on Saturday, Kumar was administered the first dose in the presence of Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria, and Niti Aayog Member (Health) V.K. Paul, who heads a government panel on vaccine strategy. After Kumar, healthcare worker Dhawal Dwivedi was the second person to receive the shot, followed by Guleria and Paul.Brimming with joy after taking the first shot, Kumar said that if there were some harmful effects associated with the vaccine, he would not have remained immune to them. "I would like to tell everybody that there is no danger in taking this vaccine. After taking the shot, I have not felt any allergic reaction. There is no pain in the arm, and I am not feeling giddy either," he added. Kumar said that he was ecstatic, after AIIMS approved him to take the first jab of Covaxin. "I had no feeling of danger or any ill-feeling regarding the safety of the vaccine, before I took the vaccine. I had volunteered for the jab", he added.Kumar insisted that he had no doubts regarding the safety of the vaccine and everyone must get inoculated. "My mother was worried when I decided to take the vaccine, but I told her there is nothing to worry," he said, adding that he had come across many people expressing fear over the vaccine, which prompted him to volunteer for the first jab.--IANSss/arm