An Invisible Wound

Sushmita Das
Posted September 27, 2020 from India
Discover the wound before it's late to heal it.

How often do we hear or use the term “Stress”? I guess every time, everywhere and from everyone. A couple of decades ago, we used the term stress only in Physics textbooks just to solve the problems pertaining to the subject Physics. But now the scenario has been completely changed. The word stress has invaded our lives with our full subconscious consent. I’m deliberately using the word subconscious just to make you realise that we have made stress an indispensable part of life, without which our day is incomplete.

 

Now let us go back to our school days where we had defined stress as the force applied per unit area. 

 

Analogous to our lives, the force is the external circumstances which emerge in our day-to-day life which the mind needs to remain conscious about. Unfortunately, we know everything still unable to shun off the term stress and eventually end up considering it as a normal way of living. Force is directly proportional to pressure, so we can say that the denominator is increasing everyday whenever there is an external turbulence, and we have become absolutely ignorant to reduce its effect on our minds. A simple ten minutes meditation twice a day can help resolve our issue to a large extent. But we have become accustomed to using the word “I’m busy”. We can use ten minutes for generating the toxic thoughts, but we cannot devote those ten minutes for generating the pure thoughts to calm our minds.

 

This inflicts more damage to our minds when we ignore to take care of it.

 

The pressure has kept increasing in our lives and resilience is constantly dwindling due to which there is a surge in numerous cases of mental disorders and increasing anxiety among people including the teenagers whose life has just started.

 

Depression stands out as a very unique and usual mental disorder. Yes it is a “disorder” accept it because anything which is detrimental to your life, impacting the regular pattern of life such as losing interest in life, erratic sleeping habits, and if not diagnosed at the right time, may lead to dreadful experience of, hallucinations and delusion the ultimate state of schizophrenia.

 

The blunder that we commit is that we accept depression as a normal phenomenon, since it has become a trend among people to live with it comfortably without finding the panacea.

 

The one who is living alone is depressed and also the one who is living with people around him is going through the same. Person sitting next to us in the office is under depression and a person standing next to us in a queue is also depressed. Depression has engrossed in our lives to such an extent that our abnormal mood has become a normal mood for us to live with. Why ? Because anything which is common is normal no matter how venomous it is.

 

Few days back I was talking to one of my very close friends, she is a very social woman who loves to hang out with people frequently but ever since the lockdown has come into play due to the COVID-19 pandemic, her social life has come to a standstill. And I could figure out a drastic effect of it on her mental stability. Although she tells me every single story of her life, yet when it came to her mental health she chose to remain mum. She didn’t feel like uttering about the state of her mind. And after talking to her constantly for some days, I discerned that she had plunged herself into depression. One day I gathered all my courage and decided to confront her with the veracity of her life therefore I called her up and said “listen you are in depression”. Astonishingly, the reply from her side was “yes, I know” !  

 

I took the onus on me to fix her state of mind, proper counselling as a friend could help her for sometime only. I was stunned to see that despite knowing her state of mind she kept plunging herself into the same. 

 

The most surprising reality is that we keep ourselves aware of every single thing happening around us, we definitely forward the optimistic quotes to our loved ones, yet fail to implement them in our daily lives.

 

Seeking someone’s help should not be a taboo. Ask anyone whom you find is going through any mild symptoms of mental disorder, he or she would avoid or disregard your advice. People keep eluding the visits to a consultant. 

 

Have we ever ignored our physical health? Even for a mild cough or cold we get affected so much that we inevitably go to a doctor to get the prescribed medicines then what is wrong in visiting a psychiatrist when your crucial part of the body without which life is almost impossible to live peacefully, is disquiet !

 

Merely because the wound is invisible, doesn’t mean there isn’t any wound. Similarly, things will remain complicated unless we put an effort to unravel the complexities arisen due to our erroneous way of living and to be specific, way of “thinking”!

 

I hope collectively we can help each other to remove the stigma attached to mental health and discuss it with our friends and family more often.

 

And at an individual level, give yourself more time for introspection, talk to yourself, observe what and where the things are going wrong. 

 

Meditate for sometime and connect to your real self.

 

 

Comments 6

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Nini Mappo
Sep 27
Sep 27

Hello Sushmita,
You make a good point about the need to pay attention to our state of mind as we do other illnesses, and not neglect it or hope it'll go away, because none of us are immune to poor mental health. I have worked with people battling depression, and also supported friends in the same situation, and they don't stay depressed by choice, and I've not known one person to pull themselves out of it by sheer will or good advice, because at the heart of it, there's a hormonal imbalance that sustains the depression, and it is a difficult thing to talk to hormones.
We have supported a friend through schizophrenia for many years, and who's not depressed, is very driven, and has achieved all distinctions in studies even with the illness. Sometimes it has comorbidity with depression, but not always.
One of my friends is on meds for depression due to isolation , and three others are not. One has to send her young children away from her a few days a week to facilitate her recovery. Recovering mental health unfortunately is not straight-forward, and sometimes you take a step forward, and two steps back, and you have little control over that.
It is true that less stigma would help people seek help sooner, and we should work on creating this awareness. But the bigger obstacle is, a mind in depression is a mind disabled, somewhat anyway, and if you are feeling hopeless, the problem becomes so immense that you never see the point in trying to get better.
That is why most people who get out of depression are those who have constant empathetic support from those around them. Some of them have to be taken to therapy, like children. It is awful when your body is unwell, but it is darkness when your mind is unwell. And the most important thing we can do is understand they can't snap out of it using will-power, so that we can be patient and caring, and let them know we are there. So it is good that you were there for your friend. It is good that you encouraged her to seek help. That is valuable support for someone in her situation, because a mind in darkness is also a lonely place. Good on you, Sushmita. I hope that she gets the help she needs and regains her mental health.
And good on you, for raising awareness on this current issue among so many people in the world and among our networks. It is an important dialogue to keep alive.

Sushmita Das
Oct 24
Oct 24

Thank you very much for your kind read and yes you are very right depression is something that should never be ignored.
I hope your friends are fine and happy now.

Paulina Nayra
Oct 09
Oct 09

You nailed it right, dear Sushmita. If people will run into a doctor for a common cough or cold, why can't they go to a psychiatrist for a mental disorder? Depression can cause damaging results to mind, body and spirit. Everyone should learn resiliency skills. The Community Resiliency Model (CRM) is a set of six (6) wellness skills that can be applied by anyone who experience stress or trauma in everyday lives. These skills helped us overcome the trauma when super typhoon Haiyan devastated our region in November 8, 2013. You may wish to take a look at this site https://www.traumaresourceinstitute.com/crm. It is very helpful.

Huggs.

Sushmita Das
Oct 24
Oct 24

Yes Paulina depression is devasting like any other natural calamity.
Thank you for sharing the link I will surely visit.

Hello, Sushmita,

Thank you for writing this article. I know it comes from a heart that cares. I know you were at the Aspire Reinvent Conference. I talked about holding a safe space, encouraging, showing empathy, and listening. Part of it was withholding judgment and offering advice.

I know exactly what depression feels like, and the reason why it's hard for people like me to open up about it is because people make it feel that something is wrong with us for not overcoming it. The reason why I talked about not offering advice was because I received a lot of advice, and yet silently I cry, "Can you hear me? Can you see me? Do you understand what's going on inside me?"

For so long I felt unseen and unheard. It was really empathy that helped me process my healing. In return, I offer empathy to those who say they have depression. And when I do, they just open up loads of stories with words, " You're the only one who knows this." I realize something, people who are suffering from mental health issues are waiting for people to listen to them, not to fix them.

Thank you for sharing this with us. I hope people in depression finds people who hold space spaces for them.

Sushmita Das
Oct 24
Oct 24

Hi Karen
Yes I was present at the Reinvent Conference and I did listen to your poignant words
You are truly an inspiring lady. A good and strong mom.
I sincerely respect you for your courage and boldness shown by you during the harsh times.
Would love to know more I about you dear. You are an emblem of Empowerment !