March 19, 2019
Do you have dreams of good money, fame and status in society? You may succeed, you may not succeed. And if it’s the latter and if you are very sensitive about it, you might land in depression. Psychological studies have shown that if you react very emotionally to a situation, you might likely be consumed by your emotions and you won’t be able to decide rationally and logically.
As per World Health Organisation (WHO), India has a strong incidence of depression. WHO study says that around 9 per cent of people have suffered from depression at one time or the other in their lifetime and 36 per cent of the population has suffered from Major Depressive Episodes (MDE).
Depression is a mood disorder and mood is an emotional mental state that characterises an individual’s perception of the world. Clinical depression is a medical condition that may last for a minimum of two weeks to months or even years.
A recent study too, by Assocham, has also shown that over 40 per cent of the employees in the Indian private sector are affected by anxiety disorder and depression compared to government employees. Many factors like less pay, constant watch by the boss, the need for a promotion or recognition play a role in influencing the mental condition and health of a corporate employee.
Studies have shown that an Indian corporate employee works for 48-50 hours a week compared to 33 hours in the UK and about 40 hours in the US. The pay scale is lesser in India compared to salaries abroad, where employees may earn up to six times more than an Indian employee after taking in to account prices and cost of living. Desire for mobility then goes up and there is an aspiration to move to the West.
For managers and top bosses, the pressure is the same and normal stress and frustration could lead to anxiety and depression. This situation is characterised by restlessness, exhaustion, anger, guilt, recurrent panic attacks and suicidal thoughts.
Generic depression symptoms
There are general behavioural symptoms as well to check for depression. Not being social and stepping out, paralysed over getting things done in a social setting, not being close with family and friends, consuming excessive alcohol and sedatives, not enjoying doing things any more or not doing enjoyable things, and inability to concentrate.
Physically, depression is characterised by a feeling of tiredness all the while, headaches, stress, significant weight loss or gain.
There are specific symptoms of depression. Some of them are fatigue and tiredness resulting in slow activity, over-eating, or conversely, loss of appetite, mood-swings, anxiety, agitation and apathy, unexplained aches and pains in the body, increased consumption of alcohol, tobacco and caffeine, insomnia or sleeplessness, difficulty in waking up in the morning, lethargy and drowsiness, lack of interest in daily affairs and even suicidal tendencies.
All these generic and specific psychological and physiological symptoms are caused by high expectations and lack of work-life balance. Add to this, sedentary life style and lack of physical exercise makes the situation worse. Most employees don’t get to sleep much during a work week, which enhances anxiety and depression.
An Assocham study has shown that clinical depression has gone up by 50 per cent in the last eight years. According to the National Crime Records Bureau, around 35 people in every 100,000 people in Bangalore commit suicide due to depression. Both counselling and medication can help in reducing depressive condition and bringing back patient to a normal mental state.
Call on a medical practitioner
Calling on a psychologist or psychiatrist is crucial if one notices symptoms of anxiety and depression. Added to this, some changes in normal routine will have to be brought about. What can you do to get out of depression?
Be frank about your feelings: If you are experiencing depressive symptoms, communicate frankly to your near and dear ones and to the doctor. Don’t withhold anything and don’t feel shy or anxious about telling them what you are undergoing.
Search out a good psychiatrist: If you are experiencing depressive symptoms, ask your family doctor whom to approach in the crisis. Don’t be hesitant to go to a psychiatrist at the earliest.
Don’t be worried by stigma: People may say many things, but don’t wait to reach a psychiatrist under the assumption that your near and dear ones may think something is wrong with you if you are going to a psychiatrist. The doctor will prescribe the right medicine to reduce your depressive symptoms.
Stay in touch with family and friends: Whatever be the stress at work, don’t stay away from family and friends. Make plans with both to go out, be together, do things together and be positive. A phone call or a text message could help you out in a crisis. Most important: keep in touch with people.
No addictions: The consumption of alcohol, tobacco and caffeine may lift up your mood in the short-term, but in the long term, they worsen the mental depression. Take care not to make them a habit.
Do regular work outs: It is important to go for a walk daily, jog or go swimming. Then there’s yoga or aerobics. Exercise will keep you fit and occupied certainly, but it also helps mental health and infuses positivity in everything you do. Exercise releases hormones like endorphins, dopamine and serotonin, which help you get into a good mood.
Don’t be stressed out: Work-life balance is a must in life. Try not take work home. Work out schedules that would give you adequate time at home. Create ways to ensure work doesn’t create anxiety.