We need to talk — don’t stay silent.

Depression is taking a toll, and something needs to be done

I lost a dear friend of mine from Church a few weeks ago. He always seemed jovial and no one would have ever imagined this outcome.

Yet, it seems despite that happy face there was a gloomy heart that could not vent out the feelings within. And that coiled into regret and rash decisions.

This is not the first time. Every month we are bound to hear of a suicide news be it a celebrity or a common man. We all silently agree that depression is a problem but are we taking significant steps to tackle it?

Most of us live our timid lives under a shell, far from the stares of outsiders. The thought of “what if they laugh at me” keeps them from attempting to look for help when the mind is in deep waters. Even when those in the vicinity inquire of your well-being due to the tension on the face, the casual reply of brushing it away further removes the possibility of finding an answer.

Photo by Sydney Sims on Unsplash

If only people spoke their problems without the fear of judgment. Trust is indeed a very precious emotion to wield. When we go to the councilor, no one feels comfortable because of the stigma involved around it. And in today’s digital age where every action is heavily scrutinized, it becomes increasingly more difficult to be frank.

To tackle this problem, extensive research has been conducted to see if technology can answer this issue. Emotional ChatBots like Elsa aspire to bridge this problem. As of today, all solutions lean towards a human touch to enhance the experience.

It takes time, experience and patience to develop a strong character bold to speak up at times of crisis. Even I myself fail to respond with diligence at times when the situation demands immediate response. Yet, we all have seen the savior of the hour come from the corner of the street full of energy to share radiate and help others improve. Certainly there is a lesson or two to take away from that individual.

When hardships come, it can be overwhelming to deal with it all. Expectations, aspirations, dreams and ambitions may not always collide. Momentary sorrow can take a severe blow at our contentment in life and eventually lead to an overall low energy in the individual. Seeing those around you succeed in life can leave one wondering deeply as to what was lacking and the inability to arrive at a conclusion brings them to the point where they accept it as being incompetence as a trait.

People become harsh on themselves. With no one to restrain, the fury of the mind can be rampageous. When it becomes uncontrolled they may self diagnose and provide imprecise medication for the body and the mind.

If these threads have not made it clear, my point is this: We need to start talking about depression before more fall prey to it. Are you listening, and do you have solutions?

The key lies in bridging the gap and in creating a safe space with the individual. People tend to be quite vulnerable in such circumstances, so instead of pushing them into a system, we need to slowly engage them and play the long game of patience to see when they open up. It does take time, but if done right and with the right degree of positivity, the outcome can be remarkable in transforming the individuals life.

We need to be more verbose about such matters and start open discussions about the same. Even if a dozen people belittle your actions, there is bound to be one who is closely watching you from a distance and somewhere deep at heart grateful for your existence. The aura you radiate will in time help people to overcome their hurdles in life and take your example as a way to climb up and boldly fight in life.

I know a junior from College who strongly is connected with the need to start a mental well being club in our college because many first year students are left to feel lonely and tend to get into depression. From her personally experience she wishes to revise the existing system in place where the student is called forward in the middle of the class to be taken to the councilor who then handles the case. They mean all good intentions but when such overheads exist it becomes difficult to speak up.

Her idea is to start a student club that acts as intermediate judgment free listeners who can provide the necessary support to help you smile and get back together. And she is not alone at all. We all can join her crusade by being the heroes in our localities. All it takes is 5 steps:

  1. Keen observant eye with an empathic heart to connect
  2. A judgment free ear and patient mind
  3. A warm hug and words of encouragement
  4. A follow up to check improvement
  5. A forgetful mind to not remember the details forever
Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash

All this can boil down to this: Share your Happiness

A large warm smile can do wonders in connecting hearts and helping people cope through hard times.

Life is indeed full of ups and downs, yet how we respond to it is entirely in our hands. Let us join hands to ensure facades and camouflages bid goodbye as honest realities and forgiving souls unite together.