Depression, a growing menace among the people

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Recently, while visiting a Kathmandu based hospital to consult with doctors about my minor ailments related with skin eczema, this scribe witnessed a bizarre incident which really saddened all the surrounding people. A woman in her early thirty was taken to emergency service center of the hospital for immediate medical attention. A group of four doctors including a female examined the woman who seems to be in critical stage. After two hours of tireless effort on the part of the doctors supported by other on duty staff, the patient was regaining consciousness and she was said to be out of danger.

Emerging after the investigation, the doctors informed the relatives that she tried to kill herself by consuming poison. They also said that it was beyond their reach to save the life of woman if she was not admitted on time. Meanwhile, the parents and other relatives who were at the hospital were in complete shock as why she resorted to such act and tried to kill herself. While talking to the doctors and the parents, the patient acquainted them that she took this step out of frustration and depression.

There was news published in national English daily that reported a girl currently residing in Kathmandu attempted suicide as a result of depression. Reem Bishwakarma (name changed), who was in mid-twenties, tied the nuptial knot three years ago amidst a big fanfare. Two years later, the couples were endowed with a baby boy and it was dream coming true for them. With an objective to provide better education and other fundamental needs to their sibling, they decided to settle in Kathmandu. Sadly, the situation started to turn nasty when the husband was unable to meet the expenses borne in the course of his son’s upbringing and compelled him to seek better options. As a result, he decided to go abroad for green pasture and better opportunities. A graduate in sociology, Reema, was not only missing her husband but also much unaware of the urban environment and finding difficulty to coop with it. Unable to endure the suffering of lengthy loneliness, she became the victim of depression. Currently, she is undergoing treatment at Kathamndu based hospital.

Similarly, in yet another incident, Rani Mahato(name changed) a resident of Sarlahi district had an affair with another man while her husband was in Middle East as a migrant worker. Last year, Rani’s in-laws and local people came to know about her illicit relationship and she was abandoned by them. What is more irksome is that even her so called lover has started to ignore her under one pretext or the other. This resulted into situation which eventually led to depression.  

In another incident, a 22 year old, Sneha Shrestha( name changed) of kathamandu district attempted suicide out of frustration. Once a very nimble child, she turned into an introvert girl avoiding social and other gatherings. In the beginning, her parents did not pay enough heed to the sudden changes and behavior. They sensed the problem when she brutally thrashed the pet black and blue with wooden stick.  Two days after the incident, the patient decided to consult the local psychiatrist and enquire about the abnormal changes seen over the past few days. During the medical investigation it was found that she was behaving in unnatural way due to growing pressure from near and dear ones after her academic performance was declining remarkably. According to doctors, she took this harsh step out of frustration which led to depression in due course of time.  

All these incidents clearly corroborate the situation that depression and subsequent suicide attempt is on the rise among the people across the country.  

Every year, as per the recent report published by the World Health Organization, nearly twenty thousand people across the globe commit suicide due to depression resulting from several socio economic factors. The same report also stated that women due to social and cultural factor become the victim of depression

“With the changing times, people’s ambitions have also grown multifold in past few decades. The non fulfillment of these ambitions creates depression in them. There has been increasing trend by people suffering from depression to visit hospital”, says Shankar Pandey, a prominent psychiatrist in Delhi based hospital, in an interview with private Indian channel the other day. According to him, the proper and timely counseling to the victims is the only permanent solution of the problem that has been claiming several lives across the globe in recent decades.

At the same time, the government and non government organization must work in tandem to raise awareness about the disease in larger scale across the country. As there is lack of understanding among the people about issues related with depression and its causes, it is very cardinal to sensitize them about the disease in the changed socio- cultural context. Further, there is also need to establish psycho - counseling center- both at national and local level- to ease the situation. 

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