Three categories of people exist – one, that are aware they suffer from depression. Two, that do not know if they have any psychological disorder. Three, those that do not suffer from any disorder, medically speaking. The last category is dangerous; they refuse to acknowledge the presence and the severity of depression and Anxiety. Not to forget, the turmoil it causes in the lives of those who suffer from it.
If you haven’t suffered from depression, its easy to not understand the gravity of the subject we are referring to. Hence, contributing to the awareness around the world, here is an example of how depression feels if it has you from head to toe and you want a way out.
From one patient of anxiety & depression to the world.
I have chosen to divide the entire experience into 3 parts – something like a bad trilogy film series. At the end of each I am grappling to come out of a movie theatre. One that does not plan to leave its viewers, any time.
You walk on a beach and look at the seashore. Drawn to the beautiful and calm sea – oblivious that it is a trap. You are warm and happy and comfortable on the sand, yet the waves are calling you towards the shore. The itch on your feet and you give in, walking slowly towards the water to feel it on your toes and ankles. You see others enjoying in it and now you have almost reached the edge.
Not holding back any longer, you step on the wet sand. Cooler than the dry, arid sand, you like it. You walk on it and the waves begin to touch your toes. They do it again and again and again – provoking you, daring you to step further into the water. And you are lured. You miss the people who are warning you from the golden sand to not go ahead. But when has a little wave ever hurt someone, you think. But now that you are walking, your body is enjoying the addiction of the pleasure the sea has to offer to you. You are getting familiar with the water without knowing the currents that lurk within.
The pleasure before the fall
Slowly, you have made your way into the knee deep water; you feel the tension released from your body. It’s wonderful, of course it is – it is the beginning of the fall.
But now its not enough – too little water, you think. You see kids swimming in shoulder-deep water and those way beyond. The depth of the sea enthralls you into an unknown high. The overconfidence that you can control the sea, the water and rise above it. Who has ever, but that’s not what the sea has made you believe.
You make your way towards it, the sand slipping away too fast. Your feet enter the small sand pits that should be your red flags. The water is harsh, skin hurts and salt begins to itch your skin. You shouldn’t ignore them, but you do. These were the signs that would have saved you maybe, when you still had the control in your hands. Perhaps its too late now.
The currents are stronger. They know they have you. You are halfway through, not sure which way to go. One wave, second wave, third wave…and a dozen waves later, you are right there where the sea always wanted you. At the precarious edge where the dark sea begins. Its a ticking time bomb.
And then comes that one wave – a huge wave that is too big to be dealt with. It overpowers you and drags you with it inside the waters that you have no clue of. The turbulence is pushing you across the envelope of liquid. You scream to come out, you push towards the surface against the pulling force tugging at your feet. You kick back but the moment you see the break in water, the force pushes you back deeper. Salt water further entering your lungs making it difficult to breathe. Your energy is draining and your oxygen supply is restricted. You cry and cry but nobody seems to understand. Outside the water is calm – no tourists can sense someone struggling underwater. You are likely to doom.
But the lifeguards see – they know something is wrong. Someone is below the water struggling. They call out to you – all you have to do is raise your hand from the water and let them see you. Let them pull you out of the water. Just a hand, just a sign to show that you are here. That you are struggling, waiting to be pulled out.
The disorder called Depression
Many people whom you see everyday are fighting below the surface of the water. They believe they ended in depression and it is their fault. They are suffocating, anxious, alone and dejected and want to be pulled out. While many find the courage and the strength to break free from the water surface and pulled out by the therapists, family and friends, others give in to the forces and succumb. They end their lives and believe that’s the only way to be free of the pressure. They forget that there are others in the same sea, just like them, pulled by the same currents. These people are not alone and shouldn’t stop trying to reach out.
Depression alone claims the lives of so many. While we have the statistics of the people that give in to the pressure, we forget those who are fighting the battle every single day. Maybe we need to be more compassionate and humane towards the people we meet and especially, to our self.