Lets be more Humane

Do we know that depression is an illness just like any other illness? So don’t you think its time we accept it? If you leave anxiety and depression unattended just like any other illness left alone for long. People die. Yes!! You got it correct. Just like a hypertensive person if left alone unattended without any treatment, would die of a stroke or a heart attack one day and a diabetic person if left alone would have severe issues with blood sugar levels and would eventually die. Similarly, Depression and Anxiety if left alone leads to suicide.
Our brain is an organ just like any other organ. You would not leave any physical disorder like diabetes or cholesterol unattended. Depression and anxiety can be incredibly difficult for people dealing with it. You are extra sad for no reason. You hate yourself for perhaps no reason again. You are so full of nobody loves you that you end up feeling desolate all the time.Suicide happens when pain exceeds the ability to cope. People don’t kill themselves their illness kills them. People who are victims of suicide. The mental illness kills them. Today there are people committing suicide every 40 seconds. Every year around 8Lac people die by suicide globally. It is important to understand the psychological processes underlying the suicidal thoughts and the factors that lead to hopelessness or despair.
We as human beings are wired in such a manner that we are perpetually judging others without even knowing about it. That’s natural. But do we know that we have been unknowingly been using abusive words or slangs in almost every conversation we have referring to mental illness? Let’s see, here goes the list. Insane, crazy, Idiot, freak, stupid, psycho and so on.Now can you recollect any negative slang terms used for diabetes patients, or thyroid or a cancer patient? None for that matter would come to your mind. Coz there are none.
Why don’t we similarly honour the person fighting mental illness than that of a person fighting cancer? We call them brave, who is fighting cancer and we blame people suffering from mental illness. We are ashamed to talk about mental illness. But why should it be that way when every 5th person in this world suffers from a mental illness. The society needs to understand that this disease is very common and people around us are struggling with it.When it comes to mental health lets not assume that we know it all.  Maybe you’ve read all the books available today to know more about your kith or kin’s depression. But that doesn’t make you a trained coach. If a person today walks up to you for support then that’s what they need, ‘support’. A person who can lend them a kind and compassionate ear and not someone who judge them or give them answers to their problems.
‘Listening’ is an art and the need of the hour. If you wish to be helpful, present yourself as a good listener, as someone who they can talk to. A person who is trustworthy and whose doors are always open. Announce this and follow through. Sometimes, a listening ear and a compassionate person is all one needs.  Maybe sometimes listening may not be enough. And steps taken post-listening are critical. But you might be surprised by their knee jerk reactions if you advise them or suggest them something. So patience is the key and not the suggestions or advice. If someone is opening up to you then you need to help them cope at their own pace.Seneca a Roman Philosopher once said, “Sometimes even to live is an act of courage”.We need to talk about it or nothing will change. We need to be more compassionate and humane instead of being judgemental or abrupt. It is very easy to judge someone without knowing what the person must be going through. If you have a broken leg, then you get a cast but if you have a broken brain you get outcast. This fear of being an outcast makes depression patients clam up and suffer in silence.
Let us take a vow to be more compassionate, more lovable, more helpful and empathetic towards the people who need us. Who knows, just by listening and a caring smile, you might just save a life.

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