Article by Ms Usha Shinde
After Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombing, millions of people went into deep depression. King Ashoka slipped into depression after seeing the human destruction in Kalinga war and hence he embraced Buddha’s teachings.
Depression is one of the most normal feeling. Many factors are responsible for the depression, such as genetic, social, environmental, financial, health related, terminal illness related or finance related.
Everybody experiences depression in lifetimes, sometimes many a times. If the cause for the depression is dealt, improvement happens.
As a counselor, I have handled all ages who suffered from depression. I insist that a counselor must be able judge and assess the depression and know the limitations of counselling. When you have a tragedy at home, you should carefully watch for depression symptoms and suicidal symptoms among your family member.s
If you see below symptoms, in anyone, please take him to a counselor or a psychiatrist.
Depression symptoms to watch for:
Lack of interest in work
Sudden weight gain or weight loss
Feeling tired all the time
Inability to mingle with friends and family
Sitting alone in the corner of a room
Body aches and pains
Symptoms of suicidal thoughts:
Sentences like – I do not want to live anymore. This life has to end, I am done with this life.
In simple language, depression happens when something goes wrong with the neuro transmitters of a brain. Many a times it is a deficiency of Dopamine, Dobutomine and Serotonin which are responsible for “ feeling good” emotion. According to Ayurveda it is related to “Vata” imbalance . Of course Ayurveda has tremendous understanding and therapies for all mental disorders and diseases.
Depression carries a high risk of suicide which is preventable. I would like to present a case dealt by me.
The reference came to me when the suicide had already taken place. A young working couple in their mid 40s lost their college going daughter by hanging to a fan in the house. She was their only child. Due to ignorance and no exposure to mental diseases and disorders couple went into grief along with unbearable guilt and hostility towards each other.
This girl was a normal and intelligent child and had scored always above 85% marks in all exams. After a bout of Typhoid, she became extremely weak and could not cope up with the portions in college. She became very depressed and expressed to end life to her mother. Mother tried her best as per her capacity to explain that suicide is not a solution. It did not help her. One day she came with marks on her neck. When parents asked her she replied that a branch of tree had hurt her. They believed.
Parents were absolutely ignorant about the counseling or psychiatric intervention. On somebodies advise they took her for counseling where they found the counselor was inattentive. They tried other counselor and then went to a psychiatrist who prescribed anti depressant medicines.
They did not find any improvement, so they changed the psychiatrist who said that nothing was wrong with their daughter and wrote some tablets. Things did not improve, time passed away and one afternoon girl came from college and hanged herself to the fan with mother’s saree. Everything was over!
Parents told me that she had done research on internet about how to tie a noose. Probably they were in denial mode at that time hence knowingly did not believe that it was a serious problem. After spending nearly four hours with the parents, I could analyze and felt that there was a fair chance to avoid this suicide.
I wondered, after the Typhoid whether the body and brain had severe deficiency of nutrients causing depression? Was her diet before and after the typhoid was full of required nutrition?
Most of the people are under impression that medicines would take care of everything.
Parents agreed they felt very awkward and uncomfortable to go to a counselor or psychiatrist. They agreed that they had discontinued the medication after visiting a holy lady in Kerala . They blamed the psychiatrists for not diagnosing her correctly and treating superficially. But they too failed to respond the warning signals of their own daughter.
Do the “only child” feels too lonely and unmotivated? Did somebody fail to listen and understand to her ? I leave the solutions or answers to the expert professionals. But strongly feel that the need of the hour is to have a awareness about mental health .All schools teach anatomy of human body , but the most important invisible part of it is the “MIND’ is not given due importance!
About the author:
Usha Shinde has worked as Public Relations Officer at Bangalore Institute of Oncology, as Chief Counsellor at Manipal University. etc.
At present she is working as Manager- Customer Relations at Bhagawan Mahaveer Jain Hospital.
Her qualifications are B.A. (Economics) ,M.A. (Literature) and a P.G.Diploma in Public Relations. She was trained in Counselling by” Viswas” and by WHO doctors and nurses.
Email: [email protected]