“I didn’t want people to think I’m mad…”

I woke up at 5:30 am this morning. No, I didn’t need an alarm to help me wake up. I started getting ready as the memories of my past kept flying through my mind. Today, I have a good enough job, a family and a few good friends, but there were times when I used to feel terribly lonely.

There was a time when I even tried to end my life by committing suicide. It was in late 2011, while I was studying in 10+2 and the board exams were approaching.  I tried to slash my left wrist in a fit of anxiety because I felt I won’t be able to clear a couple of papers ( I won’t name the subjects). I was barely 17 years old and I used to grab a blade in a fit of anxiety whenever I felt something is not going the way I want it to go.

This is something my family didn’t know about. I didn’t want them to think I was crazy and losing my mind. Now, that’s a pretty common response one gets whenever one talks about mental illness. The society has this habit of frowning upon depression or any such illness associated with the mind.

The only reason I was saved from the road to suicide was because of  the fact that I refused to give up.I didn’t talk to anyone. I used to be lost in a strange line of thought. I made it a habit to vent out my anger by writing about things I don’t like. In this way, I was able to speak about my problems in a way that my problems were not going to leave the room.

Over all these years, I’ve realized that we, as individuals, hesitate to lend a helping hand to those suffering from depression. It is not because we lack expertise, but because it is easier for us as well as for the society to turn a blind eye towards issues such as these rather than making an effort to fix them.

I’m just assuming that many common people like me must have gone through a similar sort of an emotional/ mental turmoil, but it’s really uncommon for someone to come out and openly speak about it and I made the same mistake.

Even when I knew that something was wrong, I refrained myself from seeking help. I resisted seeking help from anyone and ended up venting out my anger at anyone who used to lend a helping hand thinking they’re messing with my private space.

Now, the whole idea that ‘ someone having everything in life should not be suffering from depression’ is wrong. Depression is something that attacks people irrespective of their materialistic possessions and/or achievements. I’ve come across many people who are earning hefty sums of money and still leading a heavily stressed life. A lot of them have this habit of going beyond one tablet in the hope of completely forgetting their ordeal.

According to a recent study conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO) , depression causes nearly 80% of the total suicides committed. Furthermore, men are more likely to commit suicide than women because they fail to speak up about it, thinking they would come cross as weak.

Over all these years, I’ve read news stories and interviews in newspapers where celebrities  have made shocking revelations about being depressed. Recently, Deepika Padukone too, spoke openly about being depressed.

All of us are told that it’s all in the mind, and we’ll all get over it. Well, that’s quite true but there’s a big difference between being sad and being depressed. Sadness is a state of emotion whereas being  depressed means a state of long term dissatisfaction.

Depression is a disease which can be treated so instead of shying away from it, we should talk about it like one.

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