Gopal was a smart and intelligent young man, who had suddenly stopped taking interest in things which he loved most- driving his sports bike, going to the gym and talking to his friends on phone for hours. Life had never been so remorseful for him ever before. His addiction to gadgets also became less. He was in a state of hopelessness and had framed a very low opinion of himself.
It all began when he got into the engineering college. He was bullied, harassed and often humiliatedas he was too naive and skinny. His classmates would make fun of his looks and naivety. He started bunking classes and shifted from the college hostel to a PG (paying guest) accommodating near his college, as he was too scared to face his bullying hostel mates and feared that he would become an ‘object of mockery’ for them. He even started thinking of committing suicide.
Gopal went to a psychologist who told him that he was under ‘depression’. Depression is a continuous feeling of hopelessness or loss of interest which leads to many behavioural and physical symptoms. These symptoms usually include sleeplessness, loss of appetite, occurrence of disturbing thoughts, development of low self-esteem and major disruptions in daily activities. Though this was an extremely painful experience for Gopal, but people around him, especially his parents couldn’t exactly make out what went wrong with him, as he looked physically fit.
Why is depression caused?
There are various beliefs and opinions regarding the cause of depression. Intake of drugs and intoxicants, stressful life events, grief, loss of loved ones, health problems, abuse, genetic factors and imbalance in secretion of chemicals like serotonin and noradrenalin in brain are believed to be the common causes.
What have we lost within us that more and more people are getting depressed?
People all over the world have grown more materialistic and their love for things have become more than their love for people. Youth in particular, judge people according to their possessions more than anything else. If a young guy drives a big car, owns an expensive phone and has many girlfriends; he will be regarded as successful and smart. Whereas, guys who are ‘otherwise’ are labelled dumb or losers.
Love for junk food has become rampant; soft drinks, spicy food and intoxicant are driving youngsters crazy. Driven by passion and ignorance, youngsters now have redefined morality and abuse. Disobeying elders, leading life at one’s own whims without caring for anyone else has worsened things. It’s high time that we introspect and look within ourselves and look at the previous generations, who managed to live a happy and healthy life in spite of lacking facilities and resources.
Youngsters are much more ‘career and money conscious’ which has made them stretch their limits and go for ‘as much as possible’. Discipline and regulation in daily activities, habits and beliefs have to be cultivated and reinforced to make us better human beings.
Also, people now have started coming up openly with ‘problems related to mind’ like never before. The Eastern ways of combating depression include spirituality, religion, meditation, yoga and ancient wisdom imbibed in the Holy Scriptures. The west way is by going to different types of Medication is a common way of addressing depression, electrocuting, CTBT and counselling
Though depression is extremely painful for the sufferer and has grown widespread, especially among the youth, yet we can conquer it many ways. A sturdy support system and care rejuvenate the person suffering from it. The Dalai Lama says, “We need to learn how to want what we have not to have what we want in order to get steady and stable happiness.”