“Make not your thoughts your prisons,” Cleopatra was told. In the present day, people are guilty of not only locking the prison but also throwing away the key. We are still unable to comprehend the deaths of Anthony Bourdain, Kate Spade and Bhaiyyu Maharaj, who seemed to ‘have it all’, yet were clearly unhappy.
Depression can be characterized by perpetual sadness, desolation, ennui and restlessness which, coupled with being friendless, can lead to desperation and doom. Unfortunately, the term has been bandied about without understanding the impact it has on those suffering. It needs to be handled with the same dignity as any other physiological issue. The person can’t just ‘snap out of it’ and the phrase ‘you have everything in life’ is unhelpful. It is difficult for parents and others to comprehend the magnitude of this condition.
The growing population of urban rich, the sense of entitlement that comes from never hearing the word ‘no’, and the inability to relate meaningfully with other people, cause depression and dejection, according to Dr. Vishnu Vardhan, Professor, Department of Psychiatry, RajaRajeshwari Medical College and Hospital, Bengaluru. This leads to a permanent sense of loneliness that makes people feel hollow even as they project a strong front. There is a desperate need within us to project happiness, which proves to be our undoing.
“Our urban population faces everyday stress, impacting mental health and leading to depression, anxiety, breakdowns and addictions across demographics,” says Dr. Ali Khwaja, life coach and chairman of Banjara Academy, Bengaluru.
To read more follow the link to my piece in The Hindu: