The Author of this blog is Ms. Prakriti Bhargava of Amity Law School, Noida.
DEPRESSION, SOCIAL ANXIETY, FEAR OF BEING LEFT OUT, BIPOLAR DISORDER or
PANIC ATTACKS --- EVERYTHING IS FOR REAL!!
Some people go through such problems every day. For them, it's hard to sleep at night and to wake up in the morning with energy is a task. No amount of sleep in the world can cure indeed the tiredness one feels. People who suffer from mental illness are not always sad, that's why it's hard for us to even figure out what someone is going through. At times like such, THE LOW IS SO LOW THAT IT JUST SEEMS TO TAKE OVER EVERYTHING, OVERWHELM YOU IN A WAY THAT YOU WOULD HAVE NEVER EVER IMAGINED.
Before we proceed, it is really important to understand what is Mental health and also what is mental illness?
So let's start with mental health, looking after one's mental health can preserve a person's ability to enjoy life. Mental health means when a person is internally or emotionally happy. We all know that every journey has its ups and downs and so does life, when a person feels he can overcome such problems and can cope up with all the stress of life and can work productively we can say that he is trying to maintain his mental health and is keeping himself surrounded by positive vibes, but when this positive vibe or thought disappears from one's mind that's when they start losing their mental health and they get mental illness.
When I hear people talk about someone who is going through some sort of mental illness, they become so insensitive that they call the one suffering as mentally challenged or a person who is weaker than others. It is so sad that people of our country are not familiar with terms such as mental health or mental illness.
Mental illness is when a person is damaged emotionally, they are the health conditions which involve changes in emotion, thinking, behavior, and also sometimes it is a combination of all the above. Mental illnesses are associated with distress or problems functioning in social, work, or family activities. It is important that our society is made aware of what depression, anxiety, panic attacks, social phobia and fear of being left out mean.
The most common mental illness in today's world is DEPRESSION. Nobody other than a person going through it can understand how hard it is to cope up with it. These days teenagers use the term DEPRESSION so easily that somehow I feel it has lost its importance. The teenage years can be really tough and it’s perfectly normal to feel sad or irritable every now and then. But that does not mean that one is in depression. Because of such instances the people have started assuming that "I AM DEPRESSED" is just a normal way of saying a person is sad or upset. But ask the one who is suffering as only they’d know, it is much more than it. It is not an easy term or a casual expression.
Depression is a mood disorder, wherein a person loses his interest in any sort of activity. It is, unlike all other illnesses wherein you get to know that a person is not fine or not doing well in respect of his health by just looking at them. Depression is initially a reaction to things which one feels unfair. They know the thing is wrong but they have no means to say it out loud. It is simply a reaction to life which one had never thought that he/she would have. It is a reaction of deep anger against injustice or in-acceptance of things life has in store for them. Depression is more of a higher dimension to analyse things, any talk or behaviour that does not fulfill it creates a helplessness of lack of knowledge about it and that internal fight leads to depression.
There are times when they are just blank thinking about nothing, they are numb. Sometimes they just lie down with all the possible negative thoughts running in their mind. Depression slowly starts killing the person inside, it starts with small changes in a person and within no time it reaches a point where the person forgets from where it all started. There comes a time when a big black cloud is all over in their head. Let us try to be a good listener and if someone is trying to share their problems with us let's just HEAR them and not pass comments. The people who go through depression, they keep a lot to themselves because it's hard for them to find people who would understand.
How difficult it is for someone going through depression to open up. We easily say people should talk when they feel low, but at times they can not understand what they feel, they don't know how to put their emotions in words. It becomes hard for them to explain that they don't have any choice. It's not them who control but it's the other way around. All they feel is a constant failure and they just want to stay away from everyone as they don't want to be judged by others so they start finding peace in isolation.
It's not just depression that is considered as a mental illness, but there are many other forms. The other most common mental illness present is Social phobia. Social phobia also known as Social anxiety is the least understood term or mental illness. But it's also the most dangerous of all. The person going through social anxiety is so scared of all the social events, interactions with other people because all the feelings of self-consciousness, judgment, evaluation and scrutiny come up. And such a feeling leads up to feelings of inadequacy, embarrassment, humiliation and depression. We don't really understand that a person going through social phobia needs to put a tremendous amount of energy to just behave normal. The people who go through social anxiety, often zone out. They do get lost in their own thoughts and they spend much of their time inside their heads. A person who has never been in such a situation can never understand the insane nonstop cacophony of overlapping voices going on in one's head because they get pressurized before attending a social gathering. The people of our society have made the social gatherings a platform where people judge each other. They forget that their one loose comment can put a person's life at risk . The people suffering from Social phobia face constant fear of being judged by people on the basis of their looks, how they speak, what they wear, which car they travel in. The fear of not being accepted by society haunts them. We need to understand that, let people live the way they want to.
Why is it so hard to accept someone the way they are?
Even if a person is not suffering from social anxiety he might be an over thinker. And let me tell you all that OVERTHINKING is also a medical illness. And one comment or one unnecessary judgement can make one person spend sleepless nights just thinking about what you said. OVERTHINKING, it's parasitic, it not only kills your happiness but also destroys you in so many ways. Overthinking is linked to psychological problems, like depression and anxiety. It's likely that overthinking causes mental health to decline and as your mental health declines, the more likely you are to overthink. It's a vicious downward spiral.
Overthinking is a common problem wherein a person can not just relax. It feels that the mind just won't stop.
Well overthinking is of two types :
Worrying about the future
Worrying about the past
Sometimes many people mix up or think that problem solving and overthinking are two same terms. Well, both have meanings that are poles apart. Problem-solving is normal, it's when you have a problem in front of you and you need to find a solution for it, so you think again and again about it. But, when we talk about Overthinking it's when you build up a situation and try fighting it. Overthinking is never positive, you will never be overthinking about a good thing. It is always negative, in your mind you are always thinking wrong something which is unpleasant. There are nights when an over-thinker can not just stop reliving the embarrassing moments that happened in the past. The "what if'' game is on repeat in their head. They spend a lot of time just finding the hidden meanings in the things people say. When people don't act according to them, they keep thinking about it and they start having feelings that it might be their fault. They constantly have this fear of making mistakes.
MENTAL ILLNESS may have many forms but always remember one thing, everyone can overcome it by simply trusting themselves. It's okay to not be okay. It's okay to just spend days lying on bed and do nothing. But one has to remain positive and find ways to overcome it. It's true that people suffering through mental illness struggle hard to wake up in the morning. They struggle hard to fall asleep at night, they spend nights looking at the ceiling. They can not just shut the thoughts running in their mind, they can not just smile and hide their pain ALWAYS. Yet the others would always say to be positive and talk it out to someone close because they haven't endured the darkness like a person who goes through depression, social anxiety , panic attacks etc...
It's tough to get over such a phase and move on to a better and happy life but one has to find solutions one needs to accept that he/she is going through some sort of mental illness. The key to achieving the first step to become better is accepting it yourself. Running from it is no option. Before talking about it to others, own it up to yourself. You need to give yourself time, there is no magic cure for it. Find ways to be positive, there is always hope.. it’s true that it's easy to say but only the one who goes through knows the reality. But, to start thinking about a better future by doing little things can surely do wonders. TALK IT OUT, even though it is the toughest thing one can do but do it! Talk to a professional, doctor, or that one person who is trying to get you out of it! None of them would do it perfectly but they will support you, and you need to let that happen. The world might seem harsh but some people care for you. “If you want to cope up, just have perspective in life and blind the people of society with guns. It will fire and that may hurt, so stay together but out of the shooting range.”
While concluding, I would say that when you see someone in depression or any sort of mental illness they are going through, don't ask them "What is wrong with you?" because trust me it's not them, there is nothing wrong with them. It's the way people around the ones struggling respond. They make them uncomfortable, left out or unwanted. We need to change so that the ones struggling come up and talk about the things they go through on a daily basis without hesitating.
"Be the beacon of light in someone's darkness. "