Depression is a mood

30 06 2013

Like many others, I too felt shocked on hearing about Jiah’s suicide. After reading her parting letter, apart from being sympathetic, I wondered why her mother and her close friends/relations didn’t realize her situation and help her come out of it in time. It was so sad in that sense. There was a lot of discussion among my friends on this issue and there were different reactions and interpretations. But one thing that pained me is that many are not able to comprehend her “exact” situation – that she was in a helpless state – depression. They condemned her action and were even outraged. They sincerely wondered how silly of her to end her life for that or any reason for that matter. “She ought to have rose above it all”  – had been the general sentiment. And my empathy was largely perceived as me condoning suicide. Alas!

Jerry Pinto seemed to face similar predicament on a TV show recently. In his column “Strange Encounters” in The Week, he echoed my sentiment when he expressed his concern in unambiguously sarcastic  way, which I feel is way better  than anything I can ever come up with in terms of counterargument. 🙂

As per my understanding, depression, by definition, is a state in which one fails to exercise any will. One feels so helpless and falls into a downward spiral, feeling lower and lower in spirits. It is sickness and needs external help.

Here is an excerpt from Jerry Pinto’s article:

“But Ms Actor and Writer thought we didn’t need a helpline. Instead, she had a message for everyone out there. They were just to be brave and pull themselves together and take criticism positively. This comes out of one deep and sad myth: that clinical depression is not really a disease. It’s just another mood. And suicide is a choice on a drop-down menu and you just clicked the wrong choice, Jiah.”

Thanks Jerry! 🙂 Your article made me positively delighted for the fact that it attempted to address the aforementioned  myth.

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