Written By Anoushka Chopra (Grade 8)
The weight of expectations piles upon me, growing heavier and heavier until I can’t bear them anymore. Yet, the wish to please those around me, to tag along with my friends remains. It brings with it a weighted blanket of gloominess that wraps itself around me.
The sadness – it feels like a shadow, following me everywhere I go. It doesn’t leave my side. Then, suddenly as time passes, it’s not a shadow. It’s a tiny part of me. The part of me that makes me withdraw further into myself. The part that leads to a hollow feeling inside, hopeless and empty. The part that makes me lose interest in art, whereas, before I would have gladly taken up a paintbrush and started drawing.
There’s a word for it. Depression. Ten letters that seem awfully short for a word that holds such an enormous weight and it must be treated carefully. Depression is not something that should be joked about, shouldn’t be taken as lightly as we do nowadays. It not only affects us but also those around us – our family and friends. Depression might make us feel irritable and sensitive.
There are countless of us who might be feeling the same – hopelessness, fatigue, anger or frustration – and yet, choose not to address it. Depression is a serious medical illness that causes you to feel persistent sadness and lose interest in your normal day-to-day activities – even the ones you once found enjoyable.
Depression in teenagers, again, is quite common, when it shouldn’t be. If you were feeling as such, the first step toward recovery would be to talk to someone you trust. Accept and share what you feel.
The second step would be to get involved in those activities you thought fun. Connect with friends, and talk to family. As much as you would like to, do not withdraw into your own shell.
And lastly, adopt healthy habits.
Besides, there are several organisations, where you can pour your heart out and the person on the other end is willing to listen. Not just that, they would try their best to help you and guide you in the right direction.
Other than these organisations, one can also opt for therapy, which would involve talk therapy. Talk therapy focuses mainly on establishing communication between you and the trained therapist. It could serve as a safe place for you to open up and share your emotions and feelings with someone else.
Now, if you realize that a friend of yours might be going through something similar, ask them to talk to you about it and if they do, listen to them. Encourage your friend not to be ashamed to ask for help and always be there for your friend.
Haven’t we all heard this word thrown about now and then, that we just laugh it off when someone really feels depressed? Know that depression isn’t simply a fancy word that someone you know might be using casually. In today’s society, depression is not unlike a taboo word, something that should be brushed under the carpet and hushed up.
Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. It affects your thoughts, emotions and actions and is an indispensable component throughout your life – from childhood to adolescence to adulthood.
Featured Image Courtesy – TED Ideas