Mental Challenges ‘Catching Them Young’ But There Are Ways Out

LUCKNOW || 30-year-old Alok Kumar Maurya failed to clear the TET exam in the first week of 2019. It is this that triggered him to hang himself from the ceiling fan. The case had surfaced when he gave shape to this act in Patrakarpuram colony under the PGI Police Station. Declared failed, he was in severe depression.

In November 2019, a 21 year old committed suicide in the state capital. In his suicide note, he hinted at two things – one, he could not do well in his studies and secondly, he could not do justice to the love of his life Juhi. A resident of the state of Bihar’s Gopalganj, the man was identified as Rohit Sharma.

Coincidence is such that the boy in question was pursuing a Post Graduate in psychology. By the time the cops could break-in, the boy was already hanging from the ceiling tied by the neck through a dupatta. His final words on a WhatsApp update were – ‘I am quitting’.

For doctors, this sudden prevalence of mental ailments in the younger generation has been nothing less than a jigsaw puzzle. As doctors find it hard to cut down this scourge of mental issues in the youth, forty per cent of parents struggle to differentiate between normal mood swings and signs of depression. Even as 30 per cent are caught unaware as the child hides his/her feelings well.

Most parents are forced to believe that schools should play a role in identifying potential depression. Seven in 10 support depression screening starting from middle school as per a US study.

Doctors and experts in psychology widely believe that one need not stick to the needless consumption of drugs that control the larger fallout of psychological issues. If a patient takes medication properly and follows instructions that the doctor specifies during the prescription of medicines that one can easily Beat the Blues quite literally, keeping mental health proper and help people live a normal life.

Experts are not averse to the fact, that, if all goes well and proper precautions are taken, then a relapse can be avoided. In record six months patients can phase out medication in a regulated manner to lead a healthy and happy life. All this as they confirm that psychologically soothing drugs are less sedative.

In a recently conducted Depression awareness event by Hausla foundation and PSYUNI trust at JK Hall of Lucknow University hundreds of participants got a informative session to hear and learn from. Various doctors, patients, students and general public graced the occasion.

The program included sessions by psychiatrist Dr. Shashwat Saxena who explained various symptoms of depression and how to identify it early in the society. He said depression improves in two to three months and medication can be withdrawn after six months of treatment. He stressed that current medication is non-sedating, less side-effect causing, and does not increase weight and also non-addictive.

Psychologist, Dr.Ashutosh Srivastava said depression improves with special type of counselling like cognitive behaviour therapy and REBT too, which should be first-line treatment for children, aged people and pregnant women. He stresses on the need of regularly engaging with psychologists to relieve stress.

Another psychiatrist, Dr Sujit Kar believes depression occurs due to mismatch between neurotransmitter and brain, leading to one getting genetically exposed for depression too.

Further Swati, as a Psychologist explains how absence of social rewards and cognitive triad leads to depression. Doctors across the board maintain that depressed people often have nutritional deficiencies and that needs to be corrected to logically reach a fruitful health situation.

Yoga expert, Dr UP Singh says if one does 30 minutes of yoga daily than he can prevent depression. Especially special yogic practices like Bhrastika pranayama, bhramari pranayama and shashank aasan that manage stress well.

Depression remains one of the most common mental health hazards in the present time. In recent years it has fast led to an unprecedented increase in the prevalence of depression across age groups and multiple demographic sections, with children, pre-teens and adolescents suffering.

Children plagued by depression suffer irritability and anger pangs, social withdrawal, and poor academic performance. They often do things that comes in the bracket of risk-taking.

Recent stats show that close to 15 million individuals are fighting the scourge of some form of mental health-related illness in India. 10% of all kids suffer silently and over 50% of these go untreated and several are not even detected.

–Arijit Bose/Lucknow

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