Our social conditioning has been such way that either we are goal-oriented, concentrating all our efforts towards making our future monetarily and materially secure, or trying all available means to be better than others and better than what we are. In doing so, we forget all other psychological and spiritual needs. We are in no way satisfied with our accomplishments till we reach our graves. We set ourselves daily reminders to snatch more fruits from the so-called tree of success. We hope to wake up happy one fine morning but that particular morning never comes. In this relentless race to touch our self-made goals, a depression clenches us slowly in its grip, without our being aware of it. Once a person comes under this harsh and cruel disease, it can lead him/her to death or render him/her a mental patient. The vicious depression doesn’t target a certain age group; it finds its place in anybody who has a sense of dissatisfaction with life.
Depression is a pandemic that affects all classes and age groups throughout the world. The successful or the unsuccessful, the rich or the poor, the English or the African, everyone is vulnerable to it. Most of the times, the depressed person is not able to distinguish between what is good and bad and ultimately finds death as the only escape left.
One of the most common causes of depression in a person is humiliation. Humiliating incidents in one’s life leave life-long imprints. People can hardly forget the events or persons who caused them humiliation. Women are badly affected from this disease of depression. In our societies, we often consider women as second class or inferior to men. A mere biological difference is the basis on which half the population of the earth is degraded to a sub-human class. The degradation continues to exist even after centuries of enlightenment and emancipatory movements. This structural discrimination, endorsed by history, is one of the chief causes of mental disorders in our women folk. They are supposed to tolerate a varied set of stresses but they only add to their depression, which often results in their premature deaths or a sense of redundancy in their lives.
We must know that everyone regardless of age or class is a unique and inspiring being in one way or another. To stigmatise depressed people intentionally or unintentionally is a human rights violation and against moral/natural laws. We must not act in such a way that they resort to extreme means to end their suffering. The patient suffering from depression is always eager to choose death or other unfair ways to escape agony. The depression overshadows all dimensions of the affected person and ruins even the thinking and understanding faculties.
Every problem has a remedy. Apart from clinical/ medical treatments, the one thing most necessary to save mankind from this slow and unseen poison is a humane approach, which costs nothing and requires only empathy and unconditional love towards fellow human beings. We can’t say to the depressed people, “Come on, it is nothing, just be happy.” It doesn’t do any good and rather it makes it more difficult for them to follow such advisories sans any practical or specific solution. We should instead show love and care and make depressed people feel that they can share their problems with us. We must be keen listeners and patient counsellors. Research shows that 75% of problems are automatically solved if we just listen sincerely. The near and dear ones of depressed people should play a proactive role in trying to know the causes of their depression. Keep assuring them about the beauties of life and the vast scope ahead of the dark tunnel they are currently stuck in. Show them the glory and light each moment of our earthly life, no matter how bad the situation is. The Quran says: “Every day has its own glory”. Make them believe that their past life doesn’t matter anymore. Make them live their present moment to its fullest, casting aside all worries of the future.