A whopping 5 crore people in India suffer from depression which is 4.5 percent of the total population, according to WHO.
The word ‘depression’ is often used irresponsibly and loosely, at times to explain a bad mood and has now become mainstream because of the increased usage on social media. The consequent misinterpretation has given rise to many myths about depression.
I have had conversations about depression with a lot of people and have come across some bizarre statements like “Itne ameer ho ke bhi depression hai inko.”
In the past few years, I have read articles about depression and spoken to people, though few, who suffer from it. I can’t claim to have understood it in totality but I have definitely understood some things it is not.
And therefore, here I am telling you a few things you should never say to someone who is battling depression.
1. “Theek toh lagti ho tum”
When you say that so-and-so person is suffering from depression, very often the immediate response is, “Dekh ke toh lagta nahi hai. Hasti rehti hai woh toh.”
This is one of the most ignorant statement one can make. People like Jim Carrey and Ellen DeGeneres, who have made generations of people laugh, have admitted to battling depression.
It is more about not feeling anything in some moments than feeling sad. Although even this is a vague idea.
2. “Why don’t you snap out of it?”
The worst advice you can give to someone battling depression is, “It’s not all that bad. Look at the good things and SNAP OUT OF IT!”
What you have done after saying this is, made the person more uncomfortable to express themselves in front of you because you are in a way blaming them for their condition.
3. “Jab kuch hua nahi toh kis baat ka depression?”
It is not necessarily caused due to some tragic incident.
You might not get your answer if you ask “Kya hua?” to a person battling depression because it doesn’t need to have a reason.
Deepika Padukone came out with her story of battling depression right after the most successful year in her 10-year long career. She had everything going for her with four back to back super hits but still, she fell prey to it.
Indeed an unfortunate incident can be a trigger but it doesn’t have to happen necessarily.
4. “Acha pagal ho gaye ho?”
Even if you try to pass this off as being funny, let me tell you, this is a highly ignorant and insensitive thing to say.
The general stigma with mental illnesses also has a lot to do with this idea.
A person is not ‘crazy’ because they suffer from depression.
In fact, people suffering from depression can be right beside us, laughing, enjoying, and seemingly having fun and we might not realize their inner turmoil.
5. “Why are you thinking about it?”
Often people tell you that you are only depressed because you are thinking about “being depressed.”
It is not something you can avoid or just divert yourself from. It is not tangible and doesn’t need to have a pointed reason.
These are few things I have understood about depression.
If you have something to add to my understanding, please feel free to comment below and break some more myths about depression.
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