Thursday, April 26, 2007

Depression - Just another condition

It is yet another memory.

We had moved into a new locality. I must have been ten or eleven.

A neighbour had an heart attack and his children ran wailing out aloud to our bungalow. My mother ran out with the kids with a handful of mustard.

Of course, the man did not survive and mother was with the grieving family through out the day and for hours each day after the funeral.

I quizzed her later about the handful of mustard.

"That was for heating on a pan and throwing on the chest of the person who has suffered the heart attack!" she had explained.

No mumbo jumbo this, I now know that it was the first aid people conjured by who had no ICCUs at hand immediately.

A kind of shock therapy, I guess. We all resort to desperate measures to make a difference, to help, to see something through...some times.

What touched me is my mother's innocent belief that she must try and it was her duty to rush to the aid of the family in distress.

The effect hangs on...after all these years.

A friend called in this morning. She has had major changes in life of late. An early marriage, change of work place, stagnating career etc...

What alarmed me is that she repeated what she had said a few times before- that she has just lost the confidence, professionally and personally.

All these past few weeks I have been trying to hunt down a placement for her profile. She insisted that since I was better in terms of contacts in the industry and the courage to break ice, I must do the honours for her.

I had been trying but always noted that when I fixed up appointments, she would develop weak knees.

Her excuses were so weak, I wonder if she believed in them herself.

Some times it would be the lack of transport or the distance, at anothertime- the lack of confidence whether she could do it.

Calls to our collective mentor (a lady who dotes on us since our student days) and to her husband to push her into action have not helped.

What alarmed me, I repeat, is her breaking down while on the call.

So I asked her to see me in the evening.

I felt that I had to help her out of this. It is no favour to her. It is a duty I feel I am bound to do for a friend.

She could as well have been another woman in the street and I still would have wanted to help. I guess her call felt clear and urgent.

Unless she is fetched out of the vicious cycle of 'depression', it will do a quicksand effect on her. The more she will struggle, the deeper she will sink.

So I went to see her in the evening. It was an effort to throw her a rope. I wished to step out of my selfish existence for a while and do my duty to society.

I wanted to bail her out without her knowing that I did.

I am no saint, far from that. I am not writing this so that someone gives me accolades.

I wish this to have a cascading effect. This is an attribute I learnt from someone who acted instead of talking about it. She may be no more, but I have learnt my lessons well.

So I sat with this friend and heard her out. She felt lighter already, she said. Then I spoke to her about dilemmas everyone, even I, face in life.

Soon, she and I parted ways with promises to stay in touch and also work on a plan to get her professional career on track.

It was vital I had felt, to run and help than speak at length about how nice a person someone was.

After all Depression is just another condition and whether or not I can make my friend seek professional help, at least my presence as a friend will make her stronger.

I am the one who is enriched by this experience, by a rewarding friendship.

We all must carry this 'fistful of mustard', I feel, sometimes if not always.


Sreejith said...

i dont know why or how but it felt like you were speaking right to me when i read this post. I do relate better because i have seen a close person fall to depression. If not for the support structure, its really tough to recover and even if you do recover, the scars stay on. Hope your friend finds her mojo back.

ankurindia said...

I have read the post and would like to add my personal experiences .I still wonder why peoples cry if someone die , i mean its gonna happen , we cant change it ,everyone has to die .But i appericiate your mom's willingness to help .sometimes these things do wonders .As far as your friend is concerned , she is lacking of confidence , reason is she lack faith. by faith i means faith on anyone (usually reffered to faith on god as no human can be perfect).. maybe due to some negative experiences happened in past , she is assuming that her future will be bad too .. so its just demotivating her resulting depression .We need to understand that wat happens is not wat we want , but wats in our luck (stars) ..normally we work very hard to achieve anything (like money , peace , good relationship) and fails ,, and someday you get that thing without much hard work . so you need lot of patience too ..
Most of the problems in human life arise due to fear of rejections ... " fear of no , negative thing" ... for example your friend is missing interviews , why ? because she fear she may be rejected , peoples might laugh her ... if she overcome this fear (myth) , wat will happen ? simply one out of 5-7 interviews she will be hired ..... if we negate fear of rejection , life becomes easy and out fears become just a dot in life as a picture ...most of problems (if not all) will be solved if we control our fears like fear of death , fear of anything negative that is gonna happen to us ..One need to be brave to face/accept negative things to him/her must have faith ...
As far as your friend is concerned ,you are here to help her , but you cant help her forever , try to find why , wats reason of her problem , ask her to take bold step , stop rejecting problems , face them , try to help her to be strong internally ... and once she become internally strong , things like proffesionalism/finding jobs will be small things , she could face anything in life .. and she should :) anyway , good luck to her