Alarming Rise of Depression

This is not the end of your story
This is not the final chapter of your life.
I know it may be hard right now
But if you just hang in the
Stick it out
Stay with me for a little while…
You will find, that this tough moment will pass

Mental Health is something you have heard now and then, but it’s never actually discussed and it should. When I ask about this topic, some people seem utterly uncomfortable, others were more open to discussion, but both of these people had something in common: they did not actually have a clear vision of what a mental illness or disorder is. The world is in the middle of a crisis. An unsolvable and highly difficult crisis to eradicate: depression. We use this term so frequently nowadays that it has lost its actual meaning somewhere in the woods. In schools we are never taught anything but how to deal with eight subjects, surplus homework and a bad grade (getting our parents’ signature on that piece of paper called report card). In colleges, we learn how to enrich our resumes and socialize with people around. But when will there come that point where we discuss about this proliferating issue at hand? When will the kids of today actually learn how to deal with themselves when they are in such awful crisis? When will people know that this is temporary and suicide is not the way out? The amount of suicides post depressive episodes are alarmingly high and they need to be curbed as soon as possible.
Our society is in the throes of a virtual epidemic of depression. The numbers are quite staggering. More than forty five percent of the Asian population will experience at least one episode of what we refer to as clinical depression.
Many of us live dulled lives, somewhat robotic in nature and devoid of deeper meaning and purpose. Our lives, often become visionless and passionless. We live in an intensely competitive culture that rewards achievement and success. Our identity and esteem become reflections of these external markers of achievement. Our pursuit of happiness and well-being become terribly misdirected. The demands of our intensely and neurotically driven culture strain our emotional and psychological balance well beyond its comfortable balance. The cultural paradigm in which we live leaves us disconnected, disenchanted and isolated. When this occurs, we tend to honor and seek material acquisitions at the cost of devoting ourselves to intimate and loving relationships—with others and ourselves.
The reason anyone gets depressed always comes down to the CONSISTENT thoughts we think, and the CONSISTENT beliefs we hold. This is a harsh truth and people are hesitant to accept it. We are the creators of our thoughts, either positive or negative. The more we focus on the latter, occurrence of some kind of mental issue is inevitable.
If I believe I am fat, horrible, ugly and unworthy of love, I will most likely become depressed or have depression thoughts
If my thought process is “I must be in a relationship and earn X amount to be happy” I might get depression if I don’t achieve those goals.

Our therapeutic community attaches labels such as dysfunctional to people and families. People are not dysfunctional; social systems are. People suffer and experience pain. We are human beings, not machines that dysfunction. Such terminology expresses contempt for the human spirit. A society that produces such staggering rates of depression is dysfunctional. Our culture has created this epidemic. If we began to look at the depression as symptomatic of living depressing lives, we’d begin to understand that the cure lies in addressing what our souls are longing for. When we suppress the voice of our soul, depression arises. Depression surfaces for a reason. The symptoms of depression are crying out for our attention. The epidemic of depression is simply indicative of lives lived errantly, without joy or purpose.
A dominant theme in our society is that you should be happy, and if you’re not, there’s something wrong with you. Life can be difficult at times. It is in the labeling of people as depressed that the greatest injustice is done. I’m not suggesting that there aren’t people who are indeed clinically depressed, but simply that the indiscriminate manner in which diagnoses are meted out to people without proper discrimination is grossly absurd. When clinical diagnosis of depression is made in the astronomical numbers we witness that it speaks to something much larger: A society that has lost its way. And as the youth of our country, it is now our responsibility to bring about the difference and change the peoples’ mindset toward clinical and all other sorts of depression.

-Drashti Shah