The stigma that kills

(Take a moment and think about this: what happens when you’re in a relationship and your partner dies? What do you do? In our part of the world where there are various misconceptions about relationships, how do you handle such a loss?).

It was the beginning of an academic year and her boyfriend had passed away, her world seemed empty, she was sad and devastated. Not a member of her boyfriend’s family knew about her or her relationship with the deceased. She joined the friends and classmates category just like everyone else and even in school where people knew of their relationship, it was no different than whispers and fingers being pointed at her as the girl who’d lost her boyfriend.
Martha was surrounded by people, yet she was lonely. She had so many thoughts and could hardly concentrate. Martha was depressed and needed help, but who would help? Her friends thought she probably just needed time and space to grieve her loss, but none of them took a step to talk to her about how she really felt, but instead they were waiting for the worst to happen then they could say, “I saw this coming”, “I knew it”. What if she committed suicide in the end?
This is the situation we find ourselves in, a number of people are depressed, but we are busy with our own lives. But as social beings, we need each other. No man is an island. We are surrounded by many people, but how do we relate to them? There’s not even a single person you can talk to.

Martha had roommates, who maybe got tired of consoling her and being there for her 24/7,  or perhaps they also had problems of their own to deal with and didn’t want to burden themselves with hers. Better still, they didn’t know how to help.

That being said, we should come to the realisations that;
Depressed people are not anti-social, but are rather often misunderstood. And because we all face difficult circumstances in our lives and get over them, we expect them to also do same. In a society where we do not have the patience to endure the low moods of others, you get lots of  “just get over it”, without addressing the underlying problem.
Depressed people’s emotions are not out of control, but what would you do if society doesn’t accept you; all you have now is you and your thoughts, making you super emotional.
Depressed people are not defective, we just misinterpret their actions, and fail to help, then we sit comfortably and blame them, which kills them slowly.
To everyone reading this, know that depression is a disease and not just a feeling of sadness. And just like every disease, it can be treated if the right treatment is sought. Talking to someone is the first step to recovery. But if you cannot do that don’t reject the patient, refer him to a professional or someone who can help.

Let’s kill the stigma and allow depressed people to speak up!!!

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