What happens when we tell someone that we are sick?
- They ask us if we have consulted a
- If not, they urge us that we do so immediately. Yes, even if just for cough and cold.
- They insist that we take medicines
as prescribed and on time.
- We are advised to take ample rest.
- They show concern and are willing
to help us within their means, sometimes even beyond.
- We are cared for in every manner
- They even suggest good doctors and
hospitals we can consult.
Well, these are the reactions more
or less, aren’t they? Feel free to add more, which I'm sure there will be.
What I'm trying to say here is probably that there is no judgment or raised eye brows to deal with when you are suffering from some illness or the other. There simply is genuine
Well, maybe, replace the affliction by
depression and the specialist by a psychiatrist. Do you think the reactions would be the same? 9 out of 10 times I think not, but that's just a guess based on what I have seen or heard people say.
This is what happens mostly in our society when dealing with clinical depression or any such mood disorders
Yes, such uneducated and nonsensical reactions are what you can count on.
- There is nothing like depression. Stop giving yourself so much importance.
- Now that you are seeing a psychiatrist let's not tell anyone.
- I feel so guilty having to put my family in such a situation.
- Why do you want to see a psychiatrist?
- She is seeing a psychiatrist. Stay away from her.
- They must have a history of mental illness.
very few percentage would help without judgement. Most would probably just start treating you differently. And that is where the problem lies.
I didn’t know why talking about
depression can be such a tough thing to do. It is after all a disorder that needs to be treated just like any other, isn't it? I'm no doctor to offer a qualified opinion but that much I think I know.
Just last week an acquaintance of mine pointed out what a harrowing time she had been having. This on account of having expressed a desire to consult a psychiatrist. Think about it. She is educated, recognizes she is depressed and unwell to the point of seeking professional help. You would think that would be the end of her problems and the beginning of her recovery? Well, not really.
She now has to fight two battles. One with the society which refuses to acknowledge depression as a disorder which makes her feel guilty about putting her family is this situation. The other with the ailment itself. Isn't that unfair? Isn't it wrong to outflank someone who is already down and out?
It is not seeking and seeing the doctor that is bothering her. The reactions of her family and anybody else for that matter is what has been making it an extremely difficult battle to win. She is filled with guilt which she actually shouldn't be.
I, of course, am no professional but I tried, along with my colleagues, to make it know to her that it's okay. You know, she is a brave girl to know and seek help. Not everyone admits such problems to oneself, let alone to a bunch of outsiders. She has been talking about it, bravely too. I wish she gets better. Actually, I know she will.
Meanwhile, I just hope our society would stop, think and just not attach unnecessary stigma to words like depression, mental illness, psychiatrist, counselling etc. It's not fair on those who are suffering, not at all.
What do you think?