Around 2 hours back I got to know that 10th October is “World Mental Health Day” (what a wuss I’m), so had to type some s**t out rapidly.
Being a mental health fighter on “surviving” mode, I’ve no medical expertise to dish out more authentic gyaan.
But there are some highly overrated/understated myths surrounding “depression” which I think, are needed to be bust.
1. Writing gratitude journal works not for all
I’ve read countless times that- by listing down all the gifts thy lord bequeathed upon thee, at the end of the day, shall make you feel happy/cheerful during despair.
But guess what? It never worked for me.
The times I tried very hard to do it, my depression-and-anxiety addled mind made me feel like-
I’m counting the few pennies amassed in my beggar’s bowl.
If you are not up to writing “10 things you should be grateful for“, quit. Watch nonsense sitcom instead.
2. Your family may not be your greatest comfort
It is “popularly” recommended that, during the time of depression or any mental health illness, confess it to your parents etc.
Well, I’m strictly speaking from an Indian perspective( thus taken into account the entire claustrophobic SE Asian society).
Our parents,(over 60 mostly), are not as woke about “depression” as we are.
I tried very hard (in vain) to make my procreators understand that I’m not going through a lazy phase/throwing tantrums.
So instead of banging your head against the known-but-impenetrable wall, it would be refreshing to find your compatriots in other avenues.
If depression is as alien a word to your parents as it was to mine, keep them in loop but don’t expect/burden them for your emotional crutch.
3. Taking even a tiny control matters
When everything goes haywire and your brain is too tired to make sense out of anything anymore, taking a tiny step matters immensely.
Like, we all know (or are made to believe) that working out counts, a lot, in depression.
Lifting up those dumb-bells or shaking your booty during Zumba classes will make you feel great, just like snapping the fingers.
But what happens when you’re not feeling to get out of the house, let alone subscribing for an expensive gym membership?
On top of it, it doesn’t help that roads of your city are-
- in pathetic step- thus unfit for walk/jog and
- thanks to the rapid urbanization all the greeneries and parks are gone?
You do the obvious and that is –
checking out what you eat.
Which I’ve been doing for the past 2 months and it did deliver the result.
Don’t beat yourself up to death if you don’t feel like sweating it out. Instead, become a conscious-eater.
Knocking off few extra inches always lifts me up.
4. External validations suck
This is another very, very important aspect which I think has made India one of the most depressed countries on earth, along with other grim social issues.
Everything here revolves around-
what others think about you.
(the most perplexing crux, if there’s any)
If you’ve been successfully able to get yourself out about this labyrinth, let me know.
I’m still languishing.
If your livelihood depends upon what others think about it (which comprises of world’s 99% professions), then being rebellious means having an empty stomach.
This is another reason I’m sympathetic of actors getting the lippi/tummy/nose job done, posing as a role model to the next generation be damned.
When you’re pauper and depressed, no generation comes to rescue.
5. Be happy/smile always is another BS
This one advice is so puerile that I don’t want to waste more lines on it.
We don’t pretend to be bumbling unicorns with a grin plastered across our faces, when internally we are downright sinking.
Don’t feel guilty if you don’t look like Gwyneth Paltrow (not that I’m undermining her ordeal) during the depression.
6. Will it ever go away?
Therapy, medications, time, upgrading lifestyle would do great to dull the edge, but I’m doubtful if “depression” goes away ever.
Here, I can recall a very beautiful quote by Orhan Pamuk, which I read somewhere.
It was an excerpt from his interview where he was saying (indirect quotation) about-
how with aging comes a hollowness inside, which everybody should be accustomed to, as soon as possible. ‘Cause this is the only way to go.
I’m no expert here but I suspect, this is similar with depression as well.
Are you a psychiatric survivor? What tools have you used to tackle “it” head-on? Do share with me.