In this day and age, “depression” is something that we hear a bit too often and it seems like we have more or less been desensitized to this word. But whether or not you take this seriously Depression does have a severe impact on our lives. The sad thing is that all the impact that Depression has is bad. When we think of depression we often think of a person who is sad and is a non-functional member of the society who does not leave his/her room.
That is not it at all. Most of the people who are diagnosed with depression are functional members of society. You see there are different types of depression and although we will not go into details since that is a separate topic on itself. Depression by definition is a mental state where a person lacks or has an imbalance of the hormones which makes one feel good which includes but is not limited to endorphin and serotonin. What this means is that a person who is depressed finds it hard to stay motivated to do anything and lacks the emotions which make him/her motivated to do anything and generally feels sad or numb.
You should however consider that psychology is unpredictable and besides a few general features, each person feels depression in their way. Some people can work and be functional and seemingly have a stable life while some cannot even come out of their rooms. With that being said, we have to ask, which areas are affected by depression?
1. Depression affects the personal life of an individual
We do not have to tell you that depression is not a good thing to have. Just like any physical illness, depression as a mental illness has its own set of troubles that it brings to the table. Be it a functioning person or a non-functioning person, it makes life very hard for them. Although we said that psychology is unpredictable there is a certain range of symptoms that a person who is suffering from depression has. That includes but is not limited to lack of motivation to do even the general tasks, a constant heavy or a total dull feeling, periodic emotional breakdowns, emotional exhaustion and a general sense of uselessness and hopelessness.
As we mentioned that there are people who are functional despite suffering from this mental illness but one has to understand that once they are done with their social life, they become more or less recluse in their private life. They may keep things to themselves or may seem lost. Even those who are functional are not too efficient in their work as half of their brainpower is spent on looking normal.
As for those who are not functional, they become shut-ins and recluses of the society which just adds on to their sense of being useless and turns into a vicious cycle. The worst-case scenario is a person being fed up with this way of life and committing suicide.
2. Effect of depression in a family
Contrary to what the youths today may think, parents, do notice their kids behaviour change. Although they may not be able to understand it, parents know. We have this stereotypical belief that when Nepali parents see their kids being depressed they think that their kid is slacking or being a rebel of some sort. While this is true, it only lasts for the first few months or at the maximum a year before they talk. The rest depends on how their conversation with their kid goes but regardless of the result the pressure on the family increases by a lot.
If the conversation about depression goes positively there will be a constant pressure for the medicines and curing their child of depression. You should know that medications are never cheap and even the most basic medication for depression costs 3000 to 5000 per month. On the other hand, if the conversation does negatively, then the parents will get either frustrated with their child’s behaviour or worried and whatever they feel, they won’t be able to focus on their own lives or work thereby declining the economy of the whole family.
3. Effect of Depression on the friends circle
Similarly like the family, our closest friends do notice our behaviour pattern. When the person who is suffering from depression starts to show a change in their behaviour, the close friends will begin to worry. Unlike with the family though, the friends do understand, at least more than the parents in some regards and they support the person with it. Similarly, unlike family, where parents tend to support the depressed one, in a friends group, there will be someone who is insensitive or has evil intentions towards that person. This is when the group starts to break.
There will be people who support the person with depression and there will be a person or people within a friends circle who can’t understand or don’t care or have bad intentions towards that person and slowly the group drifts apart. It is a bitter pill to swallow but every group has such a person. This does not mean that anyone is at fault though as they too have their reasons but regardless of this, the group breaks apart. This leads to the members being anxious which leads to more stress and which can ironically lead to depression among those who care for the depressed person.
4. Effect of depression on a community
The first and foremost thing that happens in a Nepali community when there is news about depression is that a few members of the community will start to give their personal opinions on this subject with no consideration of any facts. The next thing that happens is that the person who is suffering from the depression will be pitied upon and be looked at as a freak and the community in general will pity the family of that person. It is not big news that mental illnesses are not understood by the Nepalese community as well as they should be nor are they accepted as well as they should be and this includes depression as well.
There will be members who understand and accept or try to do so and there will members that won’t understand and accept. So in a way, this will split the community in their opinion. The second thing that will be affected is the way the community views the person and the family of the person who has depression. The backbiting will continue and increase a bit and some trust issues will arise. Overall not much good happens in the community when depression is seen. The only possible good thing is that it will be clear who is willing to accept mental illness and who are not, and even this is not necessarily a good thing.
5. Effect of Depression on the Country
So far we have discussed what effect does Depression have on the smaller scale. But what about its effect on Nepal as a whole you may ask. Well, the short answer is, it depends on the ratio of depression in the working population and the youths. This means that even if the rate of depression is high on the older people, it won’t affect the country much and the main reason behind that is the economy. If the rate of depression is more on the working population then the efficiency of the depressed people is lowered which not only decreases the earnings of those people but also the country as a whole.
Similarly, if the rate of depression in youths who are not working yet is high then it means that these individuals who have depression will be the future workforce of the country and this means decreased economy of the whole country. Furthermore, it will also prove that the country is not good for mental health as well which will hurt the international image of the country and this can have a big effect on global business as well as the global investment put in the country and the decline of the country as a whole.
For a developing nation like Nepal, global investment plays a big part in our development and when it declines, so will the quality of our lifestyle.
So all in all depression or any other form of mental illness is not a positive thing in any form or manner. It is bad news all over and regardless of the scale, depression and other forms of mental illness is nothing but bad. After reading this article we hope that you will know the severity of the issue and be more considerate towards those who have any form of mental illness.