New Delhi, January 18, 2018: Did you know? 

  • The silent killer affects 4.5% of the Indian population and around 322 million people worldwide
  • One in every 20 people is said to suffer from the disorder
  • This disorder affects around 42.5% of corporate employees in India and one in every fifth teenager meets its criteria
  • In all 135445 people committed suicide in 2012 in India. An average of 371 suicides daily

Over the last few decades, many diseases have been titled as ‘The silent killer’ ranging from high blood pressure, heart diseases to diabetes, but in today’s day and time we need to acknowledge the new silent killer in society. So immense is the problem as per WHO, that in the next few years this illness will beat all known human diseases to be the second leading cause of disability worldwide! It affects all, irrespective of their age, religion, gender, profession or social status. This elephant in the room is none other than ‘DEPRESSION’

Why we need to talk about it

Depression has been listed as one of the topmost causes of suffering and deaths in today’s generation. Depression does not search for a reason before affecting someone and can occur even after a happy life event like childbirth, making it difficult to understand and accept. We often hear people say “ What has he/she got to be depressed about?! He/she has everything going well for him/her! Still, it affects 4.5% of the Indian population and around 322 million people worldwide.Major burden is seen in the working age group, with rates of depression and anxiety rising by 45% in the corporate employees. Among adolescents, the rates of depression are alarming with one in every fifth teenager meeting the criteria for depression. Depression does not even spare the elderly with 25% of the senior citizens suffering from depression in India. With such widespread prevalence, it is very likely that someone around you in your daily life is silently suffering from depression.

Understanding Depression

Depression is more than just sadness of mood. The description closest to the feeling of depression is being unable to feel joy or happiness under all situations. Due to multiple genetic and environmental factors, the neurotransmitters in our brain go haywire and the result is a debilitating condition which can literally take away ones will to live. A person suffering from depression may experience a variety of symptoms ranging from the sadness of mood,  low energy, decreased appetite, disturbed sleep, poor sexual drive to feeling hopeless in all situations. Recognizing depression in a loved one may be made simple by noticing a changein their behaviour.

The following are a few signsto watch for if you suspect depression in someone you know, with the last needing urgent attention:

  • Sudden change in mood like becoming very irritable or withdrawn
  • Spending time a lot of time alone, not leaving their room for long periods of time
  • Stopped taking care of personal hygiene
  • Crying bouts without any reason
  • Suddenly stopping hobbies or giving up leisure activities
  • Sudden change in appetite or weight loss
  • Sudden change in sleep habits (either increase or decrease)
  • Sudden absence from work
  • Low levels of energy
  • Sudden excessive consumption of alcohol or other drugs
  • Excessive preoccupation with dying, conversations about death and dying

What to do (& not to do) if your loved one has depression?

Overcoming depression is difficult but not impossible, having said that one should also remember that it is not just a state of mind that onecan snap out of! The best thing to do is to ‘SEEK HELP’.Meeting a mental health professional like a PSYCHIATRIST or PSYCHOLOGIST is the most important step. Medicines and counseling therapies are beneficial in a majority of cases.

Let your loved one know that you are there for them.  Understand that their pain and suffering  is very much real, even though you may not be able to understand why. Help them make healthy lifestyle choices like exercising and regularly taking medications or visiting their therapist.

Be patient with someone suffering from depression, words of support and encouragement can help a great deal. On the contrary, constantly trying to show the positive side of things in life may not help. Do not criticize them for being ‘too negative’. Avoid comparisons.

Lastly don’t be afraid to talk, let your loved one know that you are willing to talk to them without judging them. In cases where you feel the loved one may be thinking of ending their life, do not hesitate to talk to them and reach out for help at the earliest.

Depression at workplace

With rising rates of depression in the youth, a majority of which constitutes the workforce of our country, mental health at the workplace is of paramount importance. Very few workplaces provide respite or medical benefits in cases of depression in their employees;this should not stop one from extending support to their colleague/s.

One can help their colleague by showing they care through tiny gestures. Offer help if they find their assignment overwhelming. Allow work from home days or medical leave if possible.

Compliment their efforts, genuine appreciation may help overcome the self-doubtassociated with depression.

Do not isolate them, do not mistake depression for laziness or negligence towards work.Unnecessary criticism or trying to add extrawork pressure will only decrease their work performance.

Let them know it’s okay to ask for help and that they are not alone.

With proper medical attention, support and some loving care defeating this chronic illness is possible. With greater acceptance and reduced stigma in society associated with mental illnesses, there is hope for improving the lives of people suffering from depression as well as their loved ones.

Corporate Comm India(CCI Newswire)