Depression, a medical illness, an extreme state of mind that takes over a person’s self control, worth and agility. It may not be as obvious as an illness like cancer but it brings a terrible phase of darkness, hopelessness and feeling as dangerous as to give up on life. The fear to share and feeling of shame stops the sufferer from revealing it to the loved ones and seldom s/he reach out for help. It is the most unfortunate time in a person’s life when s/he is visibly healthy but has lost everything inside of her/him.

The recent news of Kunal Joseph’s suicide in Mumbai is disturbing. People say he was a successful pianist who appeared to have no reason to give into depression. He was a known musician and was cherished by his peers for his exceptional talent. People saw his success, something external of him, but could never sense what was he dealing with inside of him. Who knows the definition of success, after all. From what the world could see, he looked to be tripping over music but deep inside he had lost the rhythm of life and happiness. It is impossible to imagine what must have led him to end his life.

Joseph was the latest of all the artists who couldn’t find a way out. If world-famous celebs like Robin Williams and Chester Bennington can commit suicide, then it forces one to reflect deeply on life.

Renowned musician Ehsaan Noorani (of Shankar Ehsaan Loy) has been in such a situation himself. Karan’s death led him to pen down his emotions in a Facebook post and appeal to everyone to stop the rise in depression deaths. It really takes a lot to express one’s past in a public space and inspire others to learn from it.

“It’s hard to be a friend to someone who’s depressed, but it is one of the kindest, noblest, and best things you will ever do.” ― Stephen Fry

We all know how Deepika Padukone made confessions about her fight with depression and now, her organization – Live Love Life Foundation – is working towards making this world a happier place for persons suffering from depression. It is indeed a commendable effort.

Depression is also, at times, a result of constantly attempting to seek approvals of others. Technology, mobile phones and social media have made it worse. It’s alarming to see how people have surrendered themselves to technology and have little time left for real love, real relations and most importantly, real life. They are being sucked into the virtual world uninterruptedly and are not making any effort to block the appalling impact that likes of Facebook, Whatsapp have on their lives.

The menace of Blue Whale Challenge is another example of how our society is left with little love and togetherness. Sadistic minds are conveniently using technology to manipulate the lives of the vulnerable and there isn’t much that’s being done about it. And to what extent can you stop such atrocious acts? For once, the affected countries can and must have their Governments, schools infuse centralized solutions but it can never teach one the essence of love and life.

The solution starts and ends at YOU. Just because you don’t know about it doesn’t mean the solution does not exist. Make the effort to find a solution and refuse to give up until you find one. Own you life, take charge and stop finding yourself in the outside world. The happiness is in you. All you have to do is to find the purpose that leads to your version of happiness.

There was I time I went through depression myself. I used to go to work not knowing that I’m suffering from one. I used to try and talk to my colleague but feel ashamed of it. It was really suffocating. It was also the time we had shifted from the place where I spent my childhood. The changes were hard to accept and a fall-out of a worthless relationship made it worse. I used to lie in the bed for hours and liked to spend time in darkness. During the nights, I used to sit near the window of my room and look for the moon and stars. It’s been so long that I have almost forgotten how and when I cried much. I wished to escape. I wished somebody helped me. But I never wished to tell it to anyone because I was really scared and too broken to mend things on my own. I wanted to fight and come out of it but there were too many things that pulled me down. It was the worst phase of my life. I would lie if I say that I didn’t want to live. But I tried and tried again and tried a million times and chose to take the spiritual route and came out of it slowly and steadily.

During this time, I continued to go to office and meet people normally. People could never guess what I was going through and the unsaid pressure of putting up a mask killed me every single day. My friends also didn’t know about it. They all had their share of ups & downs and I didn’t want to bother any of them with my problems. This pattern is very similar in case of people suffering from depression. The need of love and acceptance is quite intense at this time yet hopelessness takes over. It’s an end-of-the-world feeling.

I enrolled to Reiki classes and it helped me focus on myself. I gradually healed myself out of it. There was a re-lapse in the same year in the form of Pancreatitis and I was bed-ridden for a month but I managed to defeat it, announced to buy my first car from the hospital bed itself and achieved it in the months that followed.

It is exactly one moment that pushes you out, makes you come back on your feet and deliver a K.O. The universe calls on you to rise up and change the course of life. It did in my case. Unfortunately, for many, it doesn’t.

We are living in the times where more people are talking about it more than ever. And that’s a good thing. I mean, the fact that celebrities are okay to reveal it is in itself a big achievement. For someone like me, who resisted talking about it till now, it really is a big deal to come out and discuss it because I cannot see anybody else facing it and doing nothing about it. I feel empathetic and don’t see a reason why anyone should consider anything external as important as to take his/her own life.

If you know you are in depression, please know that YOU CAN come out of it. If so many of us can brave it, lead a life of choice then so can you. If you know anyone who’s going through a difficult time, please help him/her. This world is in need of talented souls like Karan Joseph. I didn’t know him personally and not that it is going to make a difference to anyone’s life except his loved ones but is death an answer to depression? I don’t think so.

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