How to deal with depression

Mostly because of Covid-19, people are feeling stressed and depressed - with the intensity varying from adults to children.

Often the situation is described as momentarily feeling sad or low. But Dr Chandni Tugnait, a psychotherapist, life coach and founder-director of Indian company Gateway of Healing, points out that it is much more than that.

"Depression is not being unhappy, it is not anger, fear or loneliness," she said. "It is being numb. It is nothingness. It is exhausting. It takes away all motivation and leaves a feeling of hopelessness.

"There is a lack of energy - it's more like a void where nothing grows or changes, where time does not exist, where there is nothing and no one. Of course, it is difficult for the person trying to cope with it as well as for the people around them."

According to her, depression can be chronic and evident but many people are not aware of it and sometimes they camouflage it in the garb of routine and forced positivity.

"The line between clinical depression and feeling depressed is quite fragile," said Dr Tugnait. "Clinical depression is accompanied by a feeling of impending doom without any reason, fatigue, loss of interest and insomnia. The other is a temporary feeling of being down due to a difficult event like losing a job or loved one.

"The important thing is to get up and fight back against these feelings instead of accepting them or thinking that they will simply go away. The deeper the roots of depression, the more time it takes for a person to heal."

She suggests a few ways to deal with depression: Acceptance: This is the first step in healing. You can't change something if you resist it, so change the dynamics - accept it to release it. Compassion: Choose the wholeness of the issue instead of viewing yourself as someone who needs "fixing". Routine: Adopt a morning routine: Take time to feel gratitude, meditate, read a few pages of a book while sipping tea, exercise, write a journal or take a cold shower. Support: Seek professional help from a therapist if the situation is extreme despite the self-help, positive lifestyle changes and support from family and friends.

"There's no shame in seeking help to be healthy," said Dr Tugnait.

"Everyone should be more accepting of mental health issues without any judgements.

"Take the leap of faith when you feel ready. Until then, just breathe. You are doing fine. Depression is real but so is hope and recovery."

Indo-Asian News Service


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