Depression Is Scorned In Our Indian Community, But It's Time For A Change

Depression Is Scorned In Our Indian Community, But It's Time For A Change

Indian parents sometimes refuse to acknowledge mental health disorders and that should not be the case.
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A common misconception about Indians is that we're practical people. And as far as I am concerned, that is fairly accurate. We only believe in what we can see and prove. For example, two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom make up water; therefore, water is proven to exist. But what scientific process can we use to legitimize a mental health disorder?

As Indians, we see every side to a problem, and we know honestly is a rare quality in today's society. So if a student claims to have depression, our minds wonder why. Is he trying to skip some math test? Is she giving herself an excuse for why her grades are mediocre? It's all lies and exaggeration when it comes to discussing depression.

We pride ourselves for being tough and for persevering when the times get difficult. Succumbing to anxiety or despondency is perceived as weakness. Frankly, it's embarrassing to admit that we are not up to the task, especially when most Indian students are compared to one another and ranked academically. We all want to be number one.

Consequently, discussions about mental health disorders are discouraged. Taking medication for just "being sad" seems silly. Adolescents are lucky if their parents notice their deteriorating mental health at all. Even if they do notice, they tell their kids that "it's just a phase."

SEE ALSO: 8 Things People With Depression Are Tired Of

It's not. It is a serious problem that left unattended could negatively impact a child's life. We Indians are unwise if we think this problem will go away if we give it time. In fact, a major factor that contributes to mental health disorders is a lack of communication between parent and child. Indian parents assume that their children will blindly obey them. What they fail to recognize are independent thoughts and actions that their kids wish to express freely, but fear to do so over opposing social stigma.

In the fight to secure their children's future, they forget to fight for their children's happiness.

I'm not saying we should hate on Indian parents. You'll never find more dedicated, hardworking parents to love you unconditionally. But we must remind them how we really feel, and how we are coping against various stressors in our lives. Only if they understand us on a deep personal level can they truly help us.

Tell them that some problems you cannot solve on your own. Remind them that mental health is as important as physical health; if a broken arm warrants a doctor visit, then severe anxiety and depression should too. Take that extra step to fight for recognition so that troubled Indian children are one step closer to help.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.
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Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

From an outside perspective, suicidal thoughts are rarely looked into deeper than the surface level. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is that people live in between those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble, and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead.

You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling, whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die?" or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you. You are not alone.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255


Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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