Let’s talk about Depression & Why is it still a taboo?

Health is defined as, “a state of complete physical, MENTAL, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease.”

Depression is a serious medical condition that affects the body, mind & behavior that often manifests by feelings of sadness, anger, hopelessness & pessimism.

According to WHO, more than 350 million people are suffering from depression worldwide, that’s more than the population of Russia & Bangladesh combined. It’s the leading cause of disability & close to 800,000 people commits suicide to get out of depression, and yet it’s still so hard to talk about it publicly. Why? It’s 2017, not 17th century. Even Gay marriages are legal in so many parts of the world, why is it a shame to talk about depression then?

We all suffer from mood swings, we all go through highs and lows in our lives but with some people, this ‘low’ period is prolonged to an extent where it affects how you feel, think & handle your day to day activities like your work, sleeping habits & eating.

It has been estimated that one in four people in the world will be affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives. 

Depression is a mood order characterized by several symptoms like – 

Sadness, hopelessness, anxiety, guilt, self-loathing just won’t go away. You can’t control your thoughts anymore. You are screaming inside but you’re smiling outside because you don’t want others to look at you the way you look at yourself. You lose interest in things that you used to love. You’re irritable, restless & tired all the time. There’s an emptiness that can’t be filled. 

Sounds familiar?

We all have been there at some point or other, maybe not to this degree but let’s just say, to a milder version of this.

Depression occurs due to chemical imbalance.

Amygdala, a part of the limbic system is responsible for emotions like anger, pleasure, sorrow, fear, and sexual arousal. It becomes hyperactive in depression & responds excessively to negative events. Amygdala is connected to the medial frontal cortex, nucleus accumbens, hippocampus & the insula – part of the brain which hones the physiological & behavioral response to emotional stimuli.

If you wanna read more about it, check this article out – http://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/what-causes-depression

Mental illness changes your perceptions on things and if allowed it will make you feel so alone & vulnerable. It’s like living life on what if’s.

One of my friends was severely depressed. She kept on canceling plans for almost 2 months, I’m amazed she didn’t run out of excuses. One day we decided to surprise her. I don’t know if she was surprised, but we were definitely shocked. She had lost 10kg weight.

‘I want to eat, I’m hungry but I just don’t feel like it.’ 

‘Please leave me alone!’
‘I am fine!’
‘Maybe I deserve this!’
I’m not mad, I won’t go to a psychiatrist!’
It’s just a phase when things will be sorted, it will go away!’


Looking at her was still okay, but I won’t forget her mom’s face. That feeling of helplessness. 

She didn’t want to visit a psychiatrist but we pushed her & although she hated us for this but once the treatment began, she was thankful and we were happy. We can see the change in her.

She didn’t reach that stage in one day. It was a long process. Wouldn’t it have been better if she had just shared her feelings with us right at the start?

I was furious. I asked her – Why didn’t you reach out?

She said she did.

Her boyfriend said, ‘stop this drama.’
   Stop this drama!’ – what the hell! If you can’t understand her, at least don’t add to her issues. 

Her other friend said, ‘let’s go out, you’ll feel better!’

    Of course, you will feel better when you’re out with your friends, but what happens when you come home and you’re all alone with those crazy thoughts?

Going out won’t help till you’re ready to face your situation instead of running away from it.

She said, ‘that time, it felt easier to push you guys away rather than facing the situation. I assumed you won’t understand. I’m sorry for doubting you & thanks for being there.”

The feeling that your loved ones won’t understand, along with the fear of  social stigma, prevents people from seeking the treatment.

I’ve been depressed, not to an extent she was but yes I was there too. Aren’t we all are?

First we are worried about school grades, then about college admissions, then college grades, then job, then promotion, & also, add broken heart into the mix. See, reasons changed but situation didn’t. 

Nothing is happening in our life the way we want it to be. Life is not fair & it won’t ever be. Stop asking yourself, ‘Why me?’ 

We all face challenges but when there’s no one to support you through it, you won’t even realise when normal sadness will change to clinical depression. Struggling at jobs or break ups, anything can lead to depression if you give up. 

Accept it, embrace it, face it. Talk about it. 

We think we will be okay once the situation change. WE START JUSTIFYING OUR STATE BECAUSE WE WON’T ACCEPT THAT WE NEED HELP. WHY? Because of – ‘what will people say?’ We live in a society and society thinks mental illness is equivalent to insanity. Will society label people like us?

This is the REASON I wanted to write this post. THERE’S NOTHING TO BE ASHAMED OF. Have pride in your strength and compassion in your struggles. Talk. Nearly 57 million Indians suffer from depression, YOU AREN’T ALONE.
Few words of encouragement & love can do wonders.
If not, there’s always Therapy & medicines. Try meditation. Try exercise. Running is my way of telling my brain to shut the fuck up. Read a book. Make a list of all those things and people you are grateful for. Close your eyes and try to remember your happiest memory. Listen to music. Go offline or talk about your issues online. Seek help.

Figure out your issues and try solving them, and if you can’t solve it, accept it. You won’t ever get everything in your life and it’s okay. Have faith in yourself and embrace your weakness just like you do with your strengths. Keep the negative people away from your life. Don’t indulge in drugs to ease your pain. Sharing and caring is the best solutionSuicide is not. It will just pass away your pain to your loved ones.

According to WHO, ‘Suicide occurs throughout the lifespan and was the second leading cause of death among 15-29-year-olds globally in 2015,’ 78% of global suicides occurred in low- and middle-income countries in 2015.’ DO YOU SEE A PATTERN HERE? Maybe it’s because of lack of awareness and seeking help is considered a social stigma. “The stigma surrounding mental illness, including depression, remains a barrier to people seeking help throughout the world,” according to WHO. 

India accounted for the highest estimated number of suicides in the world in 2012, according to a WHO report published in 2014 which found that one person commits suicide every 40 seconds globally.
“Depression is also the leading cause of disability worldwide and is a major contributor to the overall global burden of disease.” – WHO.
Maybe it’s time to change the thinking? Spread awareness. Be kind to people, you never know what they are going through. Even a slight remark on social media can push them off the edge. Be careful what you say. 

 ‘I want to tell my countrymen that depression is not incurable. The first mantra is the expression of depression instead of its suppression.’ – Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
A Mental Healthcare Bill decriminalizing suicide attempt is passed by Parliament & this is just a baby step in accepting that they are not criminals, they just need help. We still have miles to go.

On the occasion of World health Day – 7 April 2017 ‘ WHO has launched a one-year global campaign on depression – LET’S TALK. http://www.who.int/campaigns/world-health-day/2017/en/

It’s time for a change. If my post can change even one orthodox opinion on depression, I’ll take it as an achievement.

To all of you beautiful people out there, if you’ve survived depression – kudos! To all those who are currently seeking help – proud of you. To all of you, who are currently facing such symptoms – please reach out & break this chain of solitude & stigma because you’re not alone. We are here for you. 

Let’s talk. Share your experiences and suggestions with me. We are in this together.

Sources – 

For data – 

1. http://www.who.int/mental_health/management/depression/wfmh_paper_depression_wmhd_2012.pdf

2. http://www.healthline.com/health/depression/facts-statistics-infographic

3. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs369/en/

4. https://www.google.co.in/amp/www.livemint.com/Specials/Ysja8QtaVqjRpKg7eAFJfL/Over-5-crore-people-suffer-from-depression-in-India-WHO.html%3Ffacet%3Damp%26utm_source%3Dgoogleamp%26utm_medium%3Dreferral%26utm_campaign%3Dgoogleamp

49 thoughts on “Let’s talk about Depression & Why is it still a taboo?

  1. Great insight. Such a detailed explanation to it. You know what I have observed many people think its sounds cool if I write I have OCD in about me section. Its not cool.. You need to help yourself overcome it ..

    Liked by 1 person

  2. the worst part of it all is the person concerned does not even want to admit he/she is depressed. Another major flaw in a depressed person.
    We can talk as much as we all do normally but it has to come from the person herself, if she needs to come out of it.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Yes! Denial. They also start justifying their mood swings, that once things will be okay, I’ll be fine. That’s why the need to spread the awareness! They should know that there’s nothing wrong with them. It’s okay & things will be okay.


  4. This is well done. I was caught by the phrase, “you are just sick of the tunnel.” I found that a profound way to put it. Thanks, Keith

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great read! Love all the little memes 😋
    I feel there’s another reason for depression, sorry if you mentioned and I missed it…
    It’s the pressure of this modern life. I bet I’d not be depressed if I was transported 200 years ago. Yes, there were different issues back then, however in general, I could have built a treehouse, hunted and foraged for my food and that’s about all I needed to do. No pressure to look good, have a fancy car, pay taxes, deal/conform with society, have a career, have to go to work daily at a job you hate… So, in a nutshell, I think (mine, at least) depression has been brought on by this crazy, fast world that has now emerged.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Depression, an emotional state that one goes through very easily these days ! It is good to see that our PM and beautiful people like you are doing your bit asking people to open up and talk about it. Kudos to you, Reva for writing it so well here ! 🙂

    Even I have gone through it and would like to share some of the learnings.

    First, let us try and understand the reason for people to get into such a state. If you observe closely, you will realize that the emotional strength of everyone is getting lower day by day. We get irritated, angered, disappointed, upset very soon. We all are facing challenges in life every now and then and since the stress levels around us are so high that we give in to the situations and let the negativity control our mind. We either feel like a helpless victim or we pretend to be strong & fight with our ego taking the lead. It is when we stop thinking positively and fill ourselves with despair, we slip into depression. We keep looking for help outside but we don’t realize that the solution & answers are already inside us.

    I think we all need to accept the situation and emotions attached to it. Here, acceptance means to be alert as well as be calm and accept that an incident or a situation has brought disappointment to me. Acceptance should come with detachment of hurt or pain. When we accept it, the negativity loses its control on us. It is only when we fight against it, there is this constant struggle & things get worse. Now that we are calm & know that these emotions are not good for me, we should try to find out how can we replace it with positive emotions. We need to look at things we are thankful for, even though we might be able to find just one or two such things. It is required because to remove darkness, even the smallest source of light is very important. Once we practice gratitude, we attract things to be grateful for in future. Slowly and gradually we need to appreciate the good things in life and embrace them. Here, it is also important to give positive strokes to one’s ownself coz it is when u r low, u need to pat on ur back for the smallest good deed you do, or a gesture that makes you happy about yourself. Start finding reasons to love yourself. I repeat, start loving yourself. Love for one’s self should be unconditional and void of judgements. You should not only forgive and forget others wrong doings but also your own. When you do that and love yourself, you lift yourself higher and higher. Look at things that make you happy and also give happiness to others. At times, you may not want to do anything for yourself, in such a case, your focus should shift on giving unconditional love & engaging in random acts of kindness. When you make others happy, or for that matter, any emotion that you pass on to others, the first effect of that emotion is on your ownself. So if you give love, love touches your soul and then goes on to other person. Hence, they say, what you give, you get. It is just that when we expect same actions from others, and when we don’t see it coming, we get upset. Thus, we need to be alert and understand that all the love that I am giving to others is first touching me and I am happier & better than before. Such constant acts of positivity will replace the negative emotions inside you and you will come out of the situation as a winner effortlessly.

    I personally feel that right from childhood, we should also focus on developing EQ i.e emotional quotient. Everybody has taught us how to study hard and do good in life but very few of us have been raised in a way wherein we learn how to face disappointments and not get trapped into it. How to handle our emotions is something very crucial in today’s life and all of us, who have handled it well during our life, in some or the other way, should help others get emotionally stronger 🙂

    Thanks for taking time out to read and I hope you will reflect to it. Would be happy to hear your feedback or suggestions. Cheers ! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Great insight and a well written blog! You’ve explained it so well, that I would describe it as beautiful. Depression is real and people need to start accepting and supporting friends and family who have it; I’ve noticed people aren’t willing to do so. Again that stigma of having a mental illness. I feel, if we were all to support one another than it wouldn’t be a major issues as it is today.


    Liked by 2 people

  8. Exactly! I also believe that you don’t reach to that stage overnight. It can be prevented if we could just express ourselves. Social stigma around it irks me. People should understand that it’s a major issue and it’s real. Let’s take a step on individual level and educate and support others. Cheers.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Wow that was long. Now I totally understand when people say, ‘kitna long blog tha yaar!’ Haha. It’s a very beautiful comment and I sincerely think you should put this up as a blog post. Spread awareness and thank you! 💃🏻

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Haha..It was long but I am sure, it was worth the time invested 😉
    I had originally written it as a blogpost only but it is just that I set up my blog recently, so I will upload this one soon. Posting as a comment on your blog which receives good number of views also serves the purpose of reaching out to people and adding value to your readers 🙂
    Thank you for the appreciation and giving me the opportunity to share my thoughts🙂


  11. I was at an event a week or so ago where I heard John Moe speak. He does the podcasts “The Hilarious World of Depression” and was discussing this very thing….


    One thing he said that stuck with me: “Depression is not a response.” A lot of folks try applying what they believe to be logic” “Why are you depressed? You have a good life/a house/a spouse/etc.” Which makes no more sense than “hey, I know your cancer would resolve if you’d just list your blessings.” My issue is more anxiety, but it still rings true. It just…is.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I work in concurrent disorders and have struggled with bi-polar disorder and this really resonates with me. I feel that a lot of stigma arises from discomfort with the sobject and sometimes an well-meaning loss of not knowing what to say or do when someone discloses mental illness. I love your posts. If you’d ever like to connect, feel free to send me an e-mail. Cheers.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Very well written. The subject is not easily discussed because of the lack of bridges between the sufferer and people in their lives. It’s hard to help when you don’t know what someone wants but know what they need

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Over-sleeping, skipping work, not showering. . .yeah, I can pretty much relate to all of that.


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