Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Break the Taboo around Depression

20 August 2019 | Views | By Dr Anuj Khandewal

In the year 2017, around 264 million people experienced depression, globally

Image credit- shuttershock.com

Image credit- shuttershock.com

Depression nowadays is a term used frequently and yet very few people actually understand the complexity of the disorder. Dr Anuj Khandelwal, a celebrated Psychiatrist from Surat says, “Depression is a mood disorder that might last for a few days to months to some years. A person suffering from depression usually suffers through a feeling of persistent sadness and hopelessness. This is different from people being upset about a small event in the day. These feelings are so strong that they hamper the patients’ daily activities such as work, social life, daily chores, recreation etc.”

Surprising Facts about Depression:

  • In the year 2017, around 264 million people experienced depression, globally.
  • Women are twice more likely to experience depression than men.
  • People suffering through trauma, stress, life changes or have a history of depression in their family have a higher chances of developing depression.
  • Children, even though they might seem happy, can also suffer from depression. Academic backwardness & refusal to go to school should be taken as serious markers of depression in children.
  • Untreated depression might lead to suicide. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association (SAMHSA), 90 percent of those who commit suicide are suffering from some sort of mental illness.
  • Recently we lost a diversified billion-dollar man Mr VG Siddhartha who committed suicide. Behind the massively successful man with a calm demeanor was a hidden storm, which made him feel like a failure. His death clearly points towards the silent mental health crisis in the society.

“Therefore it’s important to reinforce the message that we should talk if something is wrong in our lives. And if life is treating us well, we need to keep a sensitive ear open for those not as lucky as we are. They may badly want to say something. We must not shy away from taking professional help, as depression is treatable. With simple treatment methods, we can manage depression and help a person lead a normal life,” says Dr Khandelwal.

How to manage Depression:

  • Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to consult a doctor. They will provide professional help that will assist you fight depression.
  • Antidepressants act on brain neurotransmitters so as to balance them. They are not sleeping pills and hence are not habit forming.
  • Psychotherapies like Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) helps the person to identify and replace the irrational & pessimistic thoughts with more rational & optimistic ones.
  • Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) is recommended for patients with active suicidal risk and resistant depression.

“With plenty of discussions about depression, we can aim to mitigate the disease. The biggest challenge is to break the taboo around it. People suffer more because they feel they have no one to talk to. By talking openly, proper help can be provided and every individual can have a chance to lead a normal, depression-free life!” concludes Dr Khandelwal.

Dr Anuj Khandewal, Key Opinion Leader, Cadila Pharmaceuticals

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