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It’s dangerous suppression, not depression!

   By Vijay Darda | 10-10-2022

From Bollywood stars to the common man, no one is able to escape from stress and depression.

Vijay Darda

As Deepika Padukone talked about her depression on the sets of Amitabh Bachchan’s programme Kaun Banega Crorepati, everyone lauded her courage. Actors Tiger Shroff, Anushka Sharma and Varun Dhawan were also praised for their courage when they openly admitted that they too suffered from depression at some point in time and needed treatment. Just imagine what is the condition of the common man in this country in terms of mental health.

You might be wondering why I am talking about mental health this time in my column. Actually, today, October 10, is World Mental Health Day. Mental Health Day was celebrated for the first time in 1992 at the initiative of the World Health Organisation. It has been 30 years since and what have we achieved? The first step in the mental health problem is stress. We all know that with time the stress in life keeps increasing. This stress later makes people suffer from depression. According to the official statistics, about 5.60 crore people are suffering from depression and about 3.8 crore people are suffering from anxiety-related disorders. In my view, these are mere statistics. The reality is, be it a celebrity, a rich, or a common man, everyone is a victim of stress in some form or the other. Does Prime Minister Narendra Modi not have stress? Do Rahul Gandhi, Mamata Banerjee or Arvind Kejriwal, or Amitabh Bachchan have no stress? In fact, stress is in proportion to the responsibility you hold. But the most important thing is how you deal with it and how you manage your life.

One cannot pinpoint any single cause for stress. There can be several reasons. Most of the time, stress stems from one’s own problems. Some people get stressed even over the smallest things. Other people are the ones who are the victims of jealousy and get stressed by seeing the progress of others and the third reason is systemic. Our lives are largely influenced by the existing system. The flaws in that system also cause a lot of stress. Although a lot has changed in the government offices now, are we still able to do as hassle-free a transaction as we want to? If you want a certificate from a government office, you will have to run from pillar to post. Right from procuring ration from a ration shop to getting treatment in a government hospital or getting some other work done, they all cause stress. Whenever a girl goes to the market, her mother remains under stress until she returns home! It is therefore clear that to make life stress free, the social, government and private systems will have to be streamlined. Otherwise, the stress will keep mounting.

I get restless seeing the condition of children. Barely do they turn 6 when they are thrown into the cobweb of stress. Parents crib like: Look at that child. Why can’t you score marks as well as he/she does? Or, this child sings so well, so why can’t you? This stress caused by the parents’ expectations has deprived the children of their childhood. In the midst of all this, not only the children but their parents too fall prey to stress. All this stress accumulates and takes a dangerous form.

Yet, there are people in society who do not suffer from any stress at all. They obtain loans and forget. Some people take loans worth lakhs and crores of rupees from the banks and run away abroad. Even if such people stay in the country, they declare themselves bankrupt. Even after going bankrupt, they lead a luxurious life with an airplane at their disposal. Whereas if a farmer wants a loan to buy a cow, he will be asked if he knows how to milk the cow or not. But to give a loan of Rs 50 crore to someone, only one phone call is enough. Such acts also cause stress to the common man. Let me give you two examples. Renowned cardiologist Dr Nityanand alias Neetu Mandke was building a hospital in Mumbai. But due to the problems he was facing in constructing the same, he suffered an attack in his car and could not be saved. Similarly, a boy was going for an interview by bus. The bus got stuck in traffic. This made him anxious that he would not be able to reach for the interview in time. Due to this stress, he got an attack and died on the bus itself. That is to say, staying stress-free is not solely in your hands. The common man will be stress-free only when the whole environment will be so.

I can say on the basis of my experience that the Indian way of life is the best to control stress. If we include yoga and meditation in our life sincerely, there will definitely be relief in stress management. Modern science also accepts it, but in the hustle-bustle of life, most people are forgetting it. Remember that all our great leaders — Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, or Prime Minister Narendra Modi — practised yoga and sadhana. And that is why they never got tired even after working for 16 hours!

Know your cultural heritage. Be balanced. Be in the midst of those who laugh and make others laugh. Be cool and busy. Do it and you will definitely be successful in keeping stress away. Remember the old saying: Where there is a will there is a way!

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