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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London- Adolescents who had received a mental health disorder diagnosis were often excluded from the labour market and education as young adults, finds a new study.
The study indicated that almost 11 percent of adolescents who had received a psychiatric diagnosis were excluded from the education and labour market for at least five years in their early adulthood.
"Vocational rehabilitation and tight collaboration between psychiatry and social services are important for enabling adolescents suffering from mental health problems to access the labour market," said lead author David Gyllenberg from the University of Turku (Finland).
For the study, published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, the team included 55,273 individuals after exclusions for intellectual disability, death or emigration.
The results are concerning because they highlight the link between mental health disorders and long-term exclusion from education and labour market.
In the study, long-term exclusion was defined as a period spent outside education or paid employment lasting a minimum of five years.
The link was particularly strong with those teenagers who had not completed their upper secondary education and who had been diagnosed with a mental health disorder.
Almost half of these teenagers who had experienced psychosis and almost three-quarters of teenagers who had been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder experienced long-term exclusion from education and labour market in their early adulthood.
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Mental illnesses in various forms have been a major health burden globally in recent years. Unhealthy lifestyles, poor eating habits and rise in work-related stress are factors that are contributing to the rising incidence of anxiety and depression. Psychotic drugs in treating anxiety and depression are effective but offer only symptomatic relief. Long-term intake of drugs often leads to dependence without preventing further illness or providing a comprehensive solution to improving mental health.
People suffering from poor mental health can reap rich and long-term benefits by adopting the ancient Indian practice of Yoga in their daily lives. Yoga helps in maintaining good mental and physical health. It harmonises our body and mind and restores our emotional balance. There is growing evidence that Yoga can have a positive impact on depression, anxiety and those who have Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). When adopted as a daily practice, yoga can help calm down the mind and prevent the development of mental illnesses.
Stress is the root cause of several lifestyle diseases. Yoga adopts a scientific approach of exercising and relaxing to ease the stress of modern day living. Yoga also contributes to improving memory, sleep and even quality of life in elderly persons with mild memory impairment.
Here are some poses that help improve mental health besides providing other health benefits:
Shashankasana or Child's Pose
This asana stimulates your nervous system thereby re-energizing your whole body. This asana is basically a resting pose somehow resembling a child in fetal position. It is performed by sitting down on the knees and then bending forward so that the chest touches the thighs, and the forehead touches the ground. Stretch the arms forward. If performed with precision regularly, the performer will notice a sense of mental, physical, and emotional comfort descending upon him/her. Like most yoga asanas, this one, too, should be performed on an empty stomach or at least six hours after a meal. However, people suffering from high blood pressure and back pain should avoid this asana.
This inverted pose is one of the best yoga asanas for improving blood circulation towards the head. It helps to calm anxiety, treat depression and insomnia besides regulating blood flow. This pose can be performed by lying down flat on your back. Keep the legs together. While inhaling raise the legs, buttocks and the trunk and support the hips on the palm. The trunk is held at 45 degrees angle to the ground. Breathe normally in this position. To return, lower the legs over the head and keep the hands down while exhaling. Bring the spine and the legs down.
This yoga pose is thought to be therapeutic for people suffering from high blood pressure, asthma, sinusitis, infertility and osteoporosis. It also helps to relieve mild depression and beat insomnia as it is highly beneficial as a relaxation tool. To perform this pose, stand straight. Raise your hands from the front to above your head as you inhale slowly. Bend backwards from the upper back and maintain the position with normal breathing.
This pose is typically performed at the end of yoga routines and helps boost mental health and relaxes the body. Lie flat on your back, keeping the body straight and hands at the sides with palms facing upwards. Close your eyes and hold the position for at least five minutes. Even pregnant women can practice this asana as it will help them prevent prenatal depression, a prevalent mental disorder in women during pregnancy.
It should be noted that the above-mentioned yogic practices are to be learned in a gradual manner under the supervision of a yoga expert. Yoga enables a practitioner to expand their mental faculties and achieve a greater acceptance of self and others, which ultimately leads to calmer approach to the life.
Yoga encourages practitioners to experience an open heart. Many yogic philosophers consider the entire practice to be about metaphorically connecting to our hearts. Within the chakra system, the heart lies in the middle of the seven chakras. Asanas such as arda chakrasana (back bend), kapotasana (pigeon pose), and ustrasana (camel pose) encourage the expansion of the centre of the chest which is the location of the anahata chakra, the yogic heart centre. Visualizations and pranyams in yoga also encourage open heartedness.
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Mumbai, Sep 4 (IANS) Ever since the pandemic started, the entertainment industry has taken a big hit. Actress Rashmi Agdekar, known for her role in series 'Dev DD', feels that actors should focus on being healthy not just physically but mentally as well.The actress feels that since artists have to immerse themselves in multiple characters, it is important for them to be in a strong, healthy mindspace."Since I have to get into the psychology of a character while portraying a role, my personal mental health needs to be centered. It becomes relatively easier to oscillate to extreme emotions when an actor is mentally fit in my opinion. So yes it is crucial" Rashmi tells IANS.She also adds on how she will be helping a friend who is dealing with mental health issues."I'll hear my friend out at first. But encourage him/her to get professional help and keep track of how they are feeling," she says.Rashmi started her acting career with 'Dev DD' and played the lead role in 'I'm Mature' for the Me web series on MX player which was critically acclaimed. She was seen in the web series 'Rasbhari' alongside Swara Bhaskar on Amazon Prime. She also made her debut in Bollywood with the film 'Andhadhun' alongside Ayushmann Khurrana.--IANSym/bg
Bengaluru, Aug 19 (IANS) The Karnataka cabinet on Thursday approved the implementation of the Karnataka State Mental Healthcare Act 2021, which will go a long way in helping the society deeply affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.J. Madhuswamy, Minister for Law, Parliamentary Affairs and Legislation, made the announcement on Thursday after the cabinet meeting.The legislation helps in providing healthcare and services for persons with mental health issues. It will protect, promote and fulfil the rights of persons in need of treatment for mental health.Under the act, a State Mental Health Authority will be set up. A committee under the chairmanship of the Director of the NIMHANS Institute will be constituted for the drafting of guidelines for the authority. The authority will also maintain a registry and publish a list of clinical psychologists, nurses, social workers and health workers in the field of mental health.The state act is being implemented in tandem with the Central Mental Healthcare Act, 2017. Madhuswamy informed the sanctioning of Rs 478 crore for the upgrading of 2,859 sub hospitals across the state considering the Covid challenge.He said that it has been decided to augment the strength of nurses and staff for the hospitals on a three year contract basis.Madhuswamy stated that the government is prepared to face the anticipated third wave of Covid and there is no need to panic. "We are initiating necessary steps by strengthening the health sector," he said.The government has also decided to provide Rs 47 crores to distribute sanitary pads to girl students in government and aided colleges in the state under the 'Shuchi' programme.--IANSmka/bg
Chennai, July 28 (IANS) The statement of Tamil Nadu state school education minister, Anbil Mahesh Poyyamozhi that the state is mulling reopening of schools for senior students of Classes IX to XII has led to major confusion among parents, teachers, academics, and students.The minister on Tuesday had in a statement said that the state government is watching the developments over reopening of schools in three states and that the state is mulling over the reopening of schools for students of higher classes.He has also said that Chief Minister, M.K. Stalin would be apprised of the developments related to the reopening of schools in the state based on the inputs from the three states that are reopening the schools. Anbil Mahesh Poyyamozhi also said that the Chief Minister would take a final call after taking opinion from medical experts.Parents are worried over the statement of the minister and many are not inclined to send their children to schools especially government schools as they fear that there won't be strict managing of social distancing as well as other Covid protocols.Ashok Ramakrishnan, an employee with a private company in Ambattur industrial estate told IANS, "I will not send my son who is studying in a government school in the 9th standard even if the government reopens the school. As you are aware 12 districts of the state including Chennai have shown spike in fresh Covid cases."He adds, "The minister seems to be a confused person and utters anything that comes to his mind without any consultations with the experts. I have only one son and even if he doesn't study, I will manage, but I cannot take the risk of him getting infected with the coronavirus in the school."Teachers are also wary of the fallout on the minister's statement as they know that the parents will be coming in droves to the schools to raise complaints and to check on the standard protocols being maintained in schools, if schools are reopened.A senior Mathematics teacher in a government school at Triplicane who does not want to be named told IANS, "The government must wait for some more time and the minister should not have made such a statement without cross-checking with academics and health experts on the risks involved in reopening of schools. As far as we teachers are concerned, reopening of classes would reduce our burden and stress on teaching in online classes but still we prefer the government to reopen after checking all the pros and cons of the decision as we cannot take the risk of exposing our children."Doctors are also wary of the statement of the minister and Dr Manoj Sangameswaran, General physician at a private hospital in Erode told IANS, "It is not the right time for the government to consider reopening of schools in Tamil Nadu. There is a slight increase in positive cases and if we don't micromanage this, then the disease would increase in leaps and bounds and opening of schools would add to that. Let us wait for some more time and then decide."While the minister has said that the Chief Minister would take a call on the reopening of schools, the Tamil Nadu government will have to take opinion from all the corners including academicians, parents, doctors, and political parties before bringing out such a decision.--IANSaal/skp/