It was a beautiful Monday morning. Sky was broken into strands of yellow and orange, birds could be heard chirping at a distance. Everything seemed so picturesque. But that’s not how 24 year old Iva saw it. She found the day rather gloomy and sickening. It seemed quite a task to get up from the bed she had been in for days. Life had come to a hault, with each day seeming monotonous, with each breath careless instead of carefree. Iva cringed when she thought of a lively world. Happiness and joy seemed long forgotten. Maybe she needed someone. Something. People talked about her smile saying it could light up someone’s life. But little did they know about the pain behind fakingly stretching her facial muscles. She was a fit women. Beautiful and bold, she was a source of inspiration for many. Working in a dream company for many, she exhibited high levels of confidence and skill. Her bank balance reflected it too. Friends and foes, both, envied her life. Iva envied it too. The whole stigma around mental health inhibited her from getting any support. She had everything she ever needed but for life.  With thyroid hormones raging her mind, she felt despondent.

Depression isn’t a disease. It’s a state. It’s not a ‘low-mood’ period. It’s much more. Over 5 crore people in India suffer from depression, making it a less-talked issue than a less-prevalent one. The increasing use of social media and disparity between virtual and real life impacts the human psychology in unimaginable ways. Depression doesn’t discriminate between caste, gender or financial status. The term ‘health’ involves physical, mental as well as social aspects. It’s about time we, as a society, talk about mental health. Its about time,we move away from treating a person suffering from mental illness, as a lunatic. Life is beautiful. Let’s make it beautiful for people in depression. All we have to do, is stretch our hands to the people in need. All we need to do is talk.

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–  Kashish Chanana

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