Image by Layers from Pixabay 

Depression has not been something that people openly talk about, it took a celebrity like Deepika Padukone to come out on an open platform to accept and talk about it to initiate the discussion. Since then people have started talking about it instead of shutting down the topic. But while it has become a talking point, it is still not accepted as a normal condition and people still don't have an unbiased approach. We the people are still very judgmental about the whole problem. While it is absolutely right that people who are not conscious about their mental well being, may not even realise and accept that they are into depression and hence may never seek help, we also need to understand that every human mind works differently, thinks differently, thus we cannot associate one's depression with another. It is, hence, to my belief that the friends and family of the affected needs to play a more important role in their life. They need to be sensitive and conscious enough to notice the changes in behaviour, to engage, to reassure and most importantly to accept without any bias and judgements.

It may also be relevant to add here that most of us mistakenly interpret depression as simply sadness, but it's not. It is very different than being sad. It's much deeper and it can have a devastating impact on people if not handled carefully and with love. Also it happens for some people that depression makes them physically weak as well; they do not feel like putting energy to even continue their daily life activities. At some point people start to lose hope and that is when we need to reassure them that life is worth living no matter what is happening. In more severe cases such as major depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia (a serious mental illness in which a person confuses the real world and the imaginary world) the person is supposed to be treated under a psychiatrist. Whereas psychologists treat people with conditions such as behavioural problems, learning difficulties, depression and anxiety.

People's most common confusion exists in differentiating a psychiatrist from a psychologist. While a psychiatrist is allowed to provide a person with medication, a psychologist is not allowed to do so (except in special circumstances). Instead they focus on providing psychological treatments. In case someone is too reluctant in taking medications, or is worried about their negative effects they can go for a psychologist instead. People can opt for a psychologist in case they need help with mental peace as well. A study reported in WHO, conducted for the NCMH (National Care Of Mental Health), stated that at least 6.5 per cent of the Indian population suffers from some form of a serious mental disorder, with no discernible rural-urban differences. The average suicide rate in India stands at 10.9 for every 1 lakh people and the majority of people who commit suicide are below 44 years of age. They have also mentioned that the number of mental health workers is extremely low in comparison to the affected population. As reported latest in 2014, it was as low as "1 in 100,000 people". It has also been observed that most of the mental health treatments cost a fortune which is not easily affordable for half of the people suffering from depression in the Indian populace. There also aren't adequate insurance companies that take mental health in notice or provide any policies to help their beneficiaries in regard to mental health issues for reimbursements. In the recent years a lot of NGOs and organizations were observed to be working online and on many social media platforms to help people talk openly about their mental health with one such organization called "Zubaani" which has started working on Instagram in trying to help people share or talk about their thoughts and feelings to have a better outlook in dealing with their anxieties. As quoted by Zubaani there is a difference between sadness and depression. "What is Depression? Depression is like a cage where one feels trapped in a dark and void milieu of numbness. It ruptures the natural flow of life leading to impairment of growth and agility. Tragic events, traumatic incidents and sense of eternal loss leads to psychological imbalances often leading to fatal decisions. What is sadness? An element present in mild disappointment to extreme despair and anguish is sadness. It lasts generally for a temporary period and results from loss, hopelessness, sorrow, grief, failure. The most important part is the Difference between sadness and depression: Sadness being short lived gets replaced with other emotions on a constant note. Feelings of sadness can be dealt with acceptance and one's own efforts. Depression, on the other hand being a prolonged phenomenon needs therapy along with trying to be proactive and coming to terms with the past. A very natural reaction to unfulfillment and dissatisfaction evolves the feeling of sadness which again fades away within a short period of time. Depression, on the other hand is a serious mental condition of the mind which is a consequence of severe and extreme mental and physical abuse and torture."

.   .   .