In this episode of Mano Charchae, Dr. Mallika Raghavendra speaks about depression.
Dr. Mallika starts with an example of a 24-year-old woman who was grappling with depression and had attempted suicide. Her condition received very delayed attention because many members of her family were doctors and going to a psychiatrist was not on the cards. “Coming out is very important and talking about it creates more awareness. Depression is not only a symptom but a disease, and if not treated properly, it can lead to complications. Many parents who come to me say that we have provided everything to the (patient) and that they have a luxurious life; why then are they depressed? But the truth is, depression can happen to even a 5-year-old person as well as a teenager. We must notice any behavioural changes keenly and address them as soon as possible. We definitely need to create more awareness about depression.”
Many persons are scared of opening up about depression because of a fear of being made fun of. “Many even educated people have faced it after they have shared their feelings. We need to remember that if our bodies can be affected then so can our minds. We should not criticise anyone suffering from mental health issues.”
Dr. Mallika suggests a few ways of coping with depressive periods. “Always keep a schedule, it helps keep your brain stimulated. Follow at least one form of physical exercise in a disciplined way and do one mental exercise every day. Mental exercises can include reading books, working on crossword puzzles, listening to music, or doing whatever it is that you like; try doing it even if you don’t feel like it. Reading books written on the subject of mental health can be useful; I recommend ‘Battles in the Mind’ by Anna Chandy.”