My Experience in Helping My Friends Through Depression
Two years ago a friend of mine was suffering from depression in India and in this article, I will be talking about his journey from suffering to treatment. Let’s call him Akash. He was 25 years old when this story began.
Depression often requires care and support, Credits: Freepik
The First Sign
Increased irritability is among the first signs of depression, Credits: Pxhere
On a seemingly normal weekend, I met Aakash after a long time where I saw a change in him. I saw him arguing with someone over a petty issue. He seemed very irritated. I thought it must be a circumstantial thing but it was not.
As the evening went, I noticed some other things. The way he was talking about his life, it almost felt like he was reading a tragic incident. A once jolly person was low as if he had no interest in talking. In the beginning, I felt it may be because of me it wasn’t.
He soon said that he has been very stressed at work. He has not been able to achieve targets and the pressure is increasing. When he used the word stressed, I started noticing a problem. Being from a healthcare background, I asked him about his sleeping patterns and how he feels after work in his personal life.
He said he could barely sleep and he was so irritated most of the time that his social and personal lives were non-existent.
I could not tell him at that moment that he was depressed because I was not sure and depression in India is still a big taboo. So I decided to see him again soon and come to a decision then.
Admitting the Problem
If you suspect depression then you should visit a doctor for a diagnosis, Credits: Pexels
I saw Aakash again after a week. I had read about the signs and symptoms of depression in detail and was going to ask him detailed questions about his life.
When the evening began he again seemed like a dejected figure with no energy whatsoever. I started talking to him in detail. Asking him questions to figure out what he is going through.
I focussed on questions that would give me details on what he is going through. I soon felt that he should seek professional help.
You have to be very careful when you break it to someone that they need help for mental health. Most people do not want to admit they suffer from depression in India. Many people may take offense in this. I carefully told him that I suspect he may be suffering from depression and we should consult a doctor for a diagnosis.
The choice of words is very important. Be careful in what you say and be comforting. After talking for an hour we decided to see a doctor.
The doctor took a session in which I accompanied him and he diagnosed him with depression.
Pornography and Depression
He was struggling with porn addiction. Pornography has been linked with depression by many people. However, there are no studies to supplement this decision. Studies have shown that watching porn regularly can make a person feel lonely which may turn into depression. There are other studies that have stated that watching porn can also cause discomfort to the person if they are morally or religiously against porn.
At the moment there is little evidence to support the notion that porn and depression are linked. However, the evidence to say they are not is also not available. It is safe to say that it can cause discomfort to some people and supplement their depression.
Treatment and Recovery
Exercise can be a key component in the treatment of depression, Credits: Pxfuel
The treatment and recovery phase is where the patient needs the most support. I had to check on him almost every day. I informed his family so that they can offer support as well.
The treatment was not just limited to medications. It required many lifestyle changes as well. From getting exercise to changing dietary patterns a lot of things are needed.
These are the things where he needed help. He took the medicines on time but he could not change himself.
The whole process lasted for 8 months. His road to recovery showed me one thing that having support is very important for the recovery months. My takeaway from this process was most people are unaware of depression in India and they require support and care.
Depression Helplines in India
There are many helplines in India that operate to help people suffering from depression. These also act as suicide helplines. If you are ever depressed you can try calling these helplines.
Some of these are:
I call Mumbai: +912225521111
Life Foundation Kolkata: +913324637401
Roshni, Hyderabad: +914066202000
In India, depression is still a major taboo but it should not be. It is a disease that requires treatment. My friend’s journey showed me that support and care are very important. If you feel you are depressed, inform your loved ones, and seek treatment. You will feel much better once you accept and treat the disease.