Once upon time, there was a girl – effervescent, cheerful, playful and bubbly. She was the pet of all her friends. Her silly and insane antics pleased one and all. When she flaunted her raven-dark black waist-length hair, red and pink checks and hazel-coloured eyes with a smile on the glowing face, the world seemed to laugh with her. Having completed her post-graduations with flying colours, she started pursuing a job with a big multinational. Money was not her first choice however, the sense of being independent was fulfilling. She was on cloud nine.
Life was no short of a fairy tale because her family agreed to get her married to the boy of her choice. All was set, she welcomed the new change with her open hearts. It seemed like a happy beginning as the boy’s family had agreed for a working ‘bahu’. Days went by, however, it was difficult in reality for the family to ‘cope up’ with a working ‘bahu’. It truly was easier said than done. The last blow was probably awaiting her which completely shattered her dreams of working and being independent.
The lines showed it to be positive! Yay! She was pregnant. All the tension and stiffness around eased. Everyone was joyous. This girl also wanted to restart. In her mind, she accepted everything as her fate and happily resigned from work. She was overwhelmed with the new experiences of motherhood with not even an iota of regret. She looked forward to every new challenges of motherhood. She was happy or maybe not. Won’t it be so mean to suggest that she was missing work? How could she think about herself? She was a mother and a house-wife. She proved to be a perfect mother – singing lullabies to the new baby, teaching the baby early concepts and home-schooling, potty-training the baby right on time, no bottle feeding, less or almost no diapers and so on. She scored a 100 on 100. She was righteously doing all her home tasks mornings after moorings. She SEEMED happy and engrossed, she SEEMED busy, and she SEEMED like a perfect role-model.
But, no one probably noticed the loss of her interest in pleasures of life, her persistent empty and emotionless facial expressions. She was quiet at most of the times, still looking happy. For reason or no reason at all, she used to fight with once so charming prince, her husband. He started disliking her for being constantly nagging. And started ignoring. The more the baby grew, the more she became responsible. Everything was just okay.
And one day, no one could hear anything – no cries, no hues, no fights.
Did you like the ending? No .. Do you know that even a study done by World Health Organisation says that women are more prone to depression that men and strikingly India has the largest number of reported cases of depression?
Mild forms of depressions can be easily cured. However, the social stigma around depression makes most of us scared to admit one’s mental health and approach a specialist. Also, if family members are more aware and alert, they can handle the situation by giving the required support, patience and emotional balance. It is prudent to look out for symptoms and act early. Women go through a lot of emotional and physical changes. Puberty, pregnancy, menstruation, and menopause also cause a lot of hormonal changes that have direct bearing on their mood fluctuations beyond control. These may or may not be adequately expressed by the suffering women. As womenfolk also it is our responsibility to watch out for friends and relatives and create a happy environment. What is really the need of the hour is to create an awareness about depression and remove the social stigma behind it. This will help women and families to reach out for help without any embracement. Let us all understand that depression is also a disease that needs medical intervention and like most of the patients, the depressed also needs care – physically and emotionally.
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Anisha Bajaj, a passionate mother of two, runs a children’s book library in Mumbai. Having pursued BBA, CFA and MS(Finance), she has worked with top MNCs in the past. However, motherhood opened up a new world of books to her. She is on a mission to spread the joy of learning from books with fellow moms and to encourage kids to spend lesser time on gadgets and screens. She has also made story contributions to a children book called ” My hopscotch journey- A Pari’s Tale”. Recently she has joined the editorial team for a monthly children magazine called BeyondClassrooms”.