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-Alefiya Anis Rangoonwala

People nowadays ignore what is going on in their head for too long, just to maintain their reputation and status. They panic when they start feeling that some strange things are happening to them, such as, feelings that although you are academically motivated, but still unable get yourself to do your homework; or severing ties and distancing yourself from your friends, not answering  phone calls and messages for weeks and refusing to go to school college. Starting each day, or even getting out of bed seems like an impossible task. These signs and symptoms are the onset of depression. You have to redefine what success means to you. If everything you did in your life pursuing success, has lead you to this point where life becomes a daily grind and you are not happy, or, are not at peace, then the entire journey to this point becomes redundant. You need to change yourself and learn to tread a path where you can find a good balance between success and a happy life. Learning to redefine your goals and becoming more in touch with emotions and smoothen the rough edges is what makes success sweeter.

Being diagnosed with depression, begins the process which makes you realize what the real meaning of success is. What is happening to a dangerously high number of teenagers in this country is very scary and disturbing. The statistics seems to be increasing every year, of students who get afflicted with depression. We need to look into this urgently, advocating programmes in schools and colleges for teens that are suffering from anxiety and depression. Depression in our society is not easily accepted. It is a disturbing aspect of society whose ugly face is mostly covered or hidden. In a study conducted this spring, 1.6 million Tumblr blogs were examined and of those, 2,00,000 contained pictures, videos and text posts of teenagers trying to hurt themselves due to depression. We now have the technology to be able cipher the hidden messages expressed by people who are veering towards a depressive state.

The school system and standardized tests are getting harder for students to follow and the peer pressure is making life for the young adult very difficult. Often the norms laid down by society to remain stereotypical makes the ones who are different, find it difficult to fit into the mould.  Depression leads to even snuffing out promising lives but we still try to brush it below the surface and not discuss it. It is often deemed as a phase or imbalanced hormones or being overemotional. Oftentimes conversations regarding mental illness, such as depression, are portrayed in lighter vein, which results in the seriousness of the issue being frittered away.

Depression is not an emotion of sadness. Depression is the state of being below your normal self and in a state of not being in control over your life. Depression just doesn’t come and go, it exist below the surface and is an issue of great concern.  It is the third largest cause of death among teenagers. Kids commit suicide and a large number attempt it repeatedly.

“What could be done to prevent this?” Many of us have suffered from severe depression and severe anxiety, and it is said that enrolling in programmes which help battle depression can save many a life.  What is often perceived as bad and difficult behaviour is in reality an adolescent depression. Schools need to have counsellors who can counsel students and help deal with the situation.   Some students who exhibit signs of depression need to be guided and pulled out of the situation. They just need someone to talk to and someone to listen to. It helps them become aware of their thoughts, keeping a check on them and under control. Sharing your thoughts and feelings with the correct person can bring about optimistic changes and help in the recovery process. Teenagers who have suffered and have managed to come out of the depressive phase should talk to their friends or peers and make sure, they don’t have the same struggle as they did. One must be able to talk about their feeling of despair, hopelessness, and self-doubt and talk more openly about it without feeling guilt or shame.

They just need the right guidance and right information on how to deal with it. If you learn to deal with it the wrong way in the initial stage, then that is going to continue and will always become a predominant response later.  Mental health issue although manageable, can become difficult to deal with, if not identified early. You can fight this disease that is spreading fast and controlling the lives of so many young ones. Together you can fight back. Together you can win depression.

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