Dealing with Depression

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It happens to the best of us.

The feeling of utter helplessness, the low ebb of energy that seeps through the mind and permeates our entire body, sapping our passion, our will to continue, until we either crumble with despair or rise like a phoenix from the flames.

It happens to me to. I am living through it . It was easy enough for me to recognize that feeling, because that’s not who I have been my whole life. By nature I am prone to being perhaps an overtly positive, gung-ho individuals. I have always seen the bright side of a brighter future in the darkest down.

But not this time.

This time Karma has decided to give me a whallop- a good kick right between my legs 😀 and suddenly I am smack on the mat – alive and just breathing.

Battling depression is not easy. Knowing that you are depressed is the first step. Many of us go through life depressed without understanding that we are depressed. In fact right now I am in very good company. As per WHO estimates, almost 4.5% of Indians are mentally depressed. What this means is that as off right now there are about 5.8 Million people like me spread over the country who are wondering what the #$%@ is wrong with their life.

Good company from a statistical perspective, but terrible company to stay in. When it comes to mental depression, there is no safety in numbers.

We all get depressed from time to time. Financial problems depress us. An angry word or a hurtful remark from a loved one depresses us. Some get depressed in love, others in excessive work load. Some get depressed because of their bodies while some get depressed because their fear of losing their beauty. Some get depressed with their studies and marks while some get depressed because of the pressure of performance

We all have faced these situations from time to time. Some get over it fast, some slower, some never. Period.

And we all approach the battle differently. Some hit the bottle. Some hit drugs. The saner ones go in for counselling while the not-so-saner ones, especially the ones who don’t accept that fact that they are depressed try and control it. I hit the gym instead, working out twice a day, filling my mind with doses of Dopamine, Oxytocin, Endorphine and Serotin each time i exercise. They do me a world of good, not to speak of what the exercise dose is doing to my waistline 😀

Milind Soman inspires me and I have decided to focus my mind and my energies in being a bit more like him physically and mentally. Inshallah ! 😀

You can’t control depression because it’s in your head. The mind is an absolutely delicate and fine piece of art. When the balance of peace is broken it can either lead to euphoria or depression. Recognizing that you are depressed is the first step in treating it effectively and battling it.

Of course, it helps if you are a naturally ebullient person like me. I love life in all its hues- the good, the bad, the ugly. I have always looked at life with rose tinted glasses (of course it could be because I do wear fairly thick glasses 😎 ). But the fact remains that I am a naturally positive individual.

Except that these days since the past couple of weeks, I feel dark and dank. There’s a demon inside my head that I do not like one bit. It’s Freddie Krugger and he has all the knives out to destroy me.

That is, if I let him.

And I have no intention of letting that happen. I wake up every morning to fight the same demons that left me tired the night before. And right now, both my shield and my sword are still bright and shining. And it’s still one- all.

I shall prevail. Part of the recovery is being honest to oneself about what one wants and what’s preventing you from being happy inside. The temptation to let things slide is always overwhelming and if you are the kind of person who is reticent at an emotional level, this can be even more damaging. The inability to confide, to share your fears, your worries and your anxieties with anyone can further compound the depressed.

Over the past few weeks, I have been receiving calls, messages and texts from many of my friends from around the world; their voices full of concern for my well-being. They have offered words of encouragements, empathetic thoughts and helpful suggestions. A few have even offered to fly down to chat with me, if only to lend a shoulder. I am immensely thankful in no small measure to each one of them. They make me feel much better.

To all of them, I want to say I am sorry I have not spoken much, although I know you mean well. My demons are my own and if you do know me well enough by now, you know that I am not one to give into anything that easily. I am (as I said to someone once) an irresistible force of nature 😀fighting a near immovable object inside my head.

I shall win. I am a winner.

And Invictus by William Henley continues to inspire and motivate me every day

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.

Battling the feeling of being low is not easy, but it is not the end of the world. One’s dreams, one’s passion are infinitely worth more valuable to pursue than some stupid demon inside one’s head. I have my dream which I am not about to give up one.

If you give up on your dreams. What’s left?

3 COMMENTS

  1. ‘We all get depressed from time to time.’ That says it all.

    Love how you put it all down. I almost stopped writing when I realized I was into depression. Maybe I just didn’t want people to know what was bugging me…because I wasn’t sure myself. At times, I would find tears rolling down my cheeks without really being able to explain to my own mind what it was that was making me lose my energy, my interests etc. Making me feel so sad. The next moment, I found myself trying to gather all the happiness I could. I failed to understand my own mind. At times, it felt like I had a stranger living within me.

    I am pulling myself up. Better late than never. Needs a lot of focus and hard work for sure. All the best in your upward journey too, Rajesh.

  2. I can well understand your emotions Natasha. It happens to the best of us. But remember we all need to anchor ourselves from the storm inside our heads. Thats what ships in the bay do when the storm hits. This is required so that no matter how strong the wind, how fierce the rain, while we may be battered from side to side, we will remain safe in our cozy little harbor. And the best part?- the sun indeed does come out after the storm.

    All the best in staying safe within your own harbor

  3. Try a road trip….Ladakh, Konkan coast, North East…..immerse yourself in the beauty of nature. Nature has a way of setting the compass back once again. In the end, my friend, it all is worth it.
    This too shall pass….

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