This Is How We Fail Those Who Are Actually Depressed

By Abhik Chatterjee

In life, we often tend to insensitively label situations and term incidents loosely without having ever encountered them ourselves in real life. And it pains me that we laugh and trivialize issues that we consider insignificant.

After the recent passing of Chester Bennington, there were several people scoffing, calling him a coward, terming him gutless, sneering at how he had taken the easy way out. Well, I do know of two things in my lifetime:

a) We use the word “Depression” too loosely.

b) Depression is not exactly a cakewalk to deal with. I will know because I have suffered from it and have been counseled about it.

Every time we have a fight with someone, we are suddenly depressed. When we do not get a promotion, we are depressed. When our favorite team loses, we are depressed. We have trivialized this word beyond understanding, using it for every little bump that we face in our lives. And when we cross those obstacles, we claim to have overcome “depression”. What a pile of horse-shit!

I am appalled at the lack of insensitivity there is towards mental health. I am disgusted at the fact that people suffering from it are looked down upon and called “mad”. Here are some of the things that I have heard in my life-time:

a) “Come on deal with it. Be strong.”

b) “Don’t worry, you will get over it.”

c) “Why are you acting like a girl? Stop crying”

Really? Is that what we think this is? Acting like a girl? Not brave enough? Not dealing with it?

It is mayhem and chaos in the minds of those who deal with it and I wish and pray that no one has to. It is an endless vacuum that one goes into, thinking about repercussions and reliving a trauma over and over again in a loop until you suffocate.

So the next time, you call someone a “coward” and ask him/her to “go out with friends to get over it”, try and educate yourself on sensitivity. And encourage the patient to open up instead of passing useless advise.

Yes, it is an illness. Accept it.

Treat those who suffer from it in the same manner that you would treat anyone suffering from physical illness.

And yes, just like any other serious sickness, it can be fatal.

Be kind. Please, be kind.

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