Let me start by telling you what made me write this article. I chanced to read a newspaper article about depression that gave an alarming account of how the not-so-dreaded yet deadly disease is spreading almost like an epidemic in India and across the world. As per WHO’s (World Health Organisation) grim report quoted in the article, by 2030, stress-related illness will surpass communicable disease. Besides, the current COVID-19 pandemic is adding to people’s stress and anxiety, thus making them depressed. Also, seeing a lot of depressed people around (including some close relatives) and having suffered from depression myself—well, Clinically Significant Depression, actually—I thought “Let me share my experience and help people overcome their depression.” I know, many books and articles have already been published on this subject, but most, if not all, are written by medical professionals who, though well-versed with the science behind the subject, have little personal experience. And that’s the differentiator; what I am going to share with you is based on my personal experience as well as an in-depth study.
In any event, this isn’t meant to be an exhaustive medical thesis but some practical tips based on real-life experience gained on the battlefield of life, coupled with the study of many books and research papers, as well as interactions with psychiatrists, psychologists, and spiritual and self-help gurus. I don’t claim to know all the answers, and by no means is this a clear cut blueprint—don’t expect to find one anywhere else either. Take is as food for thought, if nothing else.
Fighting depression and conquering it is just one part of the story; the other part, and perhaps the more important one, is about finding happiness. As I look back over my years of battling the blues and consultation with mental health professionals, I can’t remember having heard the word ‘happiness’ ever mentioned as a therapeutic objective. The source of this word is the Icelandic word ‘happ,’ which means ‘luck’ or ‘chance.’ So, should we leave the experience of happiness to chance or should we seek to define, understand, and attain?
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