With a higher standard of living, tension in daily lives and less of concern for others, most of the educated and affluent couples, middle aged, these days pass through a phase of depression in their lives. In most of cases depression recurs in couples.
Depression as different from other physical ailments , is the result of ill health of the mind due to many pressing factors over a long period of time... Total detachment from all things worldly may not be a possible remedy to escape depression for the majority of people in this world. How can society help these needy people ?
What causes depression : A constant source of irritation, tension at home, illness of children etc can result in depression that can cause lack of enthusiasm for active life, feeling lonely, lack of interest in others, disinterest in sexuality, suicidal tendency, inability even to do household chores etc .. This is not an irreversible process and if treated can be reversed leading back to helpful and active life.
Is this like cancer, the curse of affluence and neglect of the poor in society ? A life style disease ?
Please read the basics of what depression is and how to handle it effectively at nimh.nih.gov US govt site. Wealth of resources. For pdf form (27 pages), pl click here .. Updated 2011.
Presently a very close friend of mine is passing through this stage of mental ill health and I am in a process of helping them ( that does not preclude the possibility of depression not hitting me either..)
This Reader's Digest link gives an article that helps to understand causes of depression and how to handle it. ( From the book '7 stages of marriage', by Sari and Rita)
Most of us refuse to accept or are ignorant that we or our spouse is affected by depression. Statistics show that one in five women in Europe is afflicted with depression .. About 18 million out of 320 million people in US suffer from depression, ie. 5 %. Statistics in other countries is unavailable as they have not yet understood the magnitude of this malaise.
The recent suicide of playback singer Asha Bhonsle's daughter in Mumbai out of extreme depression points to the reality that wealth and pleasures cannot get any one peace of mind, on the contrary it can only bring extreme misery and depression !!
helpguide.org in collaboration with Harvard Medical School has come up with this site that gives extensive reading material and advice on how to cope with depression. Last updated Oct 12.
If not identified early, it can even lead to divorce. No one and no medical science talks of GIVING BACK TO SOCIETY !!
The first billionaire John D Rockefeller in 1912 also suffered from a similar malaise of dropping hair and shrinking skin at the age of 53, when his close confidant at that time advised him to give back to society. Rockefeller got rid of this unexplainable malaise when he decided to give back to society all his wealth and lived happily till age of 98. Then was born the Rockefeller Foundation .. Warren Buffet, Bill Gates and other millionaires are now practicing these principles of giving back to society basically to keep them in good mental and physical health.
Hands that serve are more sacred than lips that pray - Mother Teresa. Let your spiritual life be just not restricted to praying and lip service, it also demands serving the society .. Gautam Budha gave all his worldly possessions and went out to pray, preach and serve the society, escaping depression. In a joint family the comfort and solace of other family members often was a great social medication, unlike the nuclear families of today where problem arise within families and end within families itself. The spiritual and social bonding from attending church services and cottage prayers go a long way in helping meet this malaise..
How far can medical science help to treat this ill health of the mind ? The societal support to such activities is it sufficient ?
Let us ponder !!