I did a bit of a Q and A on my Instagram on Friday, and the results were appalling. Not only are people unaware of so much, they also choose to be driven by bigotry and they won’t change their mindsets. It’s 2019, folks, come on now.
If we can’t talk about mental health openly, NOW, when will we ever? Here are ten facts, from personal experience, that nobody tells you about mental health – specifically about depression.
• It can affect anyone.
Just because someone looks buff and strong and seems to be the epitome of badassery, doesn’t mean they’re not susceptible. Take it from someone who’s been there, seen people and experienced it all, first hand.
I know people that are doing great helping others, serving the community and are amazing – but they have been secretly depressed since forever. And the only thing they find solace in? Their jobs.
• It never affects you on the daily, if you stay focused enough.
A genius (insert lethal dosage of sarcasm here) once told me that you can’t be a practicing doctor with depression and anxiety but that’s completely a myth. You can work wherever you like, and you can do whatever you want to do. As long as your depression is under control, and you’re doing something about it, you’re good to go. Just like everyone else you know.
Which brings me to point number three.
• Don’t be afraid to seek help.
If you’re feeling low, and anxious, and if you feel like you’re forgetting how to be happy, and you tell someone about it and you suspect you have depression – GET IT EVALUATED.
Prevention is always better than cure. Which is why, a trip to the counselor’s or therapist’s just to see what’s happening, isn’t going to hurt. If you’re not clinically diagnosed, and if you’re declared as not having any mental health issues, it’s such a relief too, right? Why would you want to waste time debating when you could actually go get a consult?
• Google isn’t your therapist. Google isn’t most certainly qualified to be your doctor.
There are people that go to med school, slog for about a decade and study the subject closely. Google never went to med school and Google never took semester exams – and that is precisely why you need to stop Googling your symptoms.
• Depression can creep up on you when you’re not even suspecting it.
There’s a thing called seasonal affective disorder and it actually is a real thing. It’s seasonal, obviously, and is seen in a lot of adults. Abbreviated SAD, it’s precisely what it says it is – it makes you hella sad, and you won’t know what’s wrong with you.
It’s not something you can control, as you can never tell yourself to just snap out of it because that’s not how this guy works. When he drops in, he takes his sweet time. Or she.
• It’s accumulative.
One specific thing won’t cause it. It has to be a series of events. Lemony Snicket would know. So here’s what happens: something plus something again. Plus something more. Plus something else. And a million somethings. All add up. And then boom, you wake up with a stranger in your heart, you feel zapped and you don’t know why. And you don’t know why, because it’s not just one little or one specific thing.
• Yoga and meditation don’t actually help cure it, but can definitely help keep it from blowing up.
Both these things are specifically designed to calm the human mind, body and senses. Letting your feelings stay in a confined spot and letting your emotions not take over your body so bad that you’re on total autopilot, actually does help.
• Do not ASK to start medication till your doctor thinks it’s fit to.
I don’t believe in medication. I’m one of those people that believe in not resorting to last resorts. Which is why I always recommend talking about your feelings to your therapist. There’s a lot a conversation – a heart to heart conversation – can do. When you’re with your therapist, you’re interacting with another human being (in total confidentiality) one on one. The power of human interaction that’s not all about cellphones and Internet, is incredible.
• Sweeping problems under the rug isn’t going to help at all.
Let’s say you have some issues and you’ve been paying zero attention to the problem and only been ignoring it because you’re sure you’ll forget about it and it won’t come back – think again. It’ll creep up on you. If you suspect you have it, talk to someone.
• There’s no taboo. Nor is there glorification.
I got a direct message from a person who seemed to think that I was glorifying and also stigmatizing mental health problems by talking about in the first place. And it was so offensive to me because people are aware of so little. Why would someone glorify it when they’ve been through it, anyway?
And there’s supposed to be no stigma surrounding it either. It’s a growing problem that’ll just accumulate, like I explained earlier.
This same person expressed concern about people not having the time or resources to go to a doctor and using google as their only option.
Now, if someone has access to Google, they should be well aware of the fact that Government setups (in India, at least) exist for the sole purpose of catering to people and their healthcare needs at a very nominal cost. OPDs won’t charge you any money if you can’t afford it. No doctor is here to extort you, contrary to what you might think.
Speaking of having no time – I wonder what’s more important than your own health? Be it mental or otherwise?