If you feel sad once in a while, it’s natural. There is nothing to worry about. But if a certain kind of emptiness has overtaken your life and it refuses to go away, it could be a sign of depression. If you feel hopeless and helpless, and if you’ve lost interest in friends, activities, and things you used to enjoy, there is certainly a reason to worry.
Why we should take depression seriously
In simple terms, depression eats away your capability to enjoy life. Sometimes it makes even getting through the day look like a difficult task. Imagine being in a situation where you cannot relish life despite having pretty much everything at your disposal. Yes, that’s what depression, the silent killer, does to you. It makes you forget how to be happy and joyous.
According to a study, an estimated 350 million people of all ages experience symptoms of depression and about 13 percent of Americans take antidepressants. Severe depression interferes with your ability to work, study, eat, sleep, and enjoy your life.
In March 2015, film actor Deepika Padukone broke the silence and stigma around depression, sharing her battle against the ailment.
In early 2014, while I was being appreciated for my work, one morning, I woke up feeling different. A day earlier, I had fainted due to exhaustion; it was all downhill from there. I felt a strange emptiness in my stomach.
I thought it was stress, so I tried to distract myself by focusing on work, and surrounding myself with people, which helped for a while. But the nagging feeling didn’t go away. My breath was shallow, I suffered from lack of concentration and I broke down often.
Over a period of time, it got worse. When my parents visited, I would put up a brave front because they were worried about me living alone and working long hours.
Then, once, while talking to my mother (Ujjala Padukone), I broke down. She realised the problem, and got in touch with a psychologist friend, Anna Chandy, to get to the root of the cause.
There were days when I would feel okay, but at times, within a day, there was a roller-coaster of feelings. Finally, I accepted my condition. The counselling helped, but only to an extent. Then, I took medication, and today I am much better.”
Deepika’s account shows that no matter how hopeless one feels, one does not have to live in the black hole; one can get better. And the first step to overcoming the problem is to identify it.
In graphology, the science of handwriting analysis, there are several indicators in a handwriting sample, which point to the writer’s depression. But there is one prime indicator: the direction of baseline. Find out how the baseline of a writer changes when he is suffering from depression. Read about Depression in Handwriting.