The Silent Killer: Why Is Depression Silently Taking Away Our Teens and Youth?
Recently, I heard the devastating news about the suicide of well-known Bollywood TV and film actor Sushant Singh Rajput. His sudden death has brought to light the widespread yet under-addressed problem – Depression, that even a number of teens and youths are living within our present society. Depression is often called a silent killer. Its symptoms tend to be misunderstood or not visible physically, and by the time the necessary measures have been undertaken, it may already be too late. Moodiness, irritability and social withdrawal are often accompanying adolescence. As a result, parents would not know whether these are something to worry about or a regular part of their kids adapting to the world. In the year 2018, two of my previous students attempted suicide; luckily, they both survived. The underlying reasons behind these disturbing behaviours are more or less same, i.e. depression, peer or academic pressure etc.
Also Read | Why Suicidal Thoughts Are Appeared to Be Common Among Teens?
Recognise the Symptoms
Although cases of depression can vary from individual to individual, there are signs that one can look out to identify a depressed person:
- Irritable mood most of the time or all day long with an urge to cry out loud
- Feeling worthlessness and low self-respect, due to which the affected person might start disapproving him/her self.
- Exhaustion and insomnia are signs that one should look out for in a depressed individual
- From indulging in comfort eating to losing the will to eat, predominantly loss of appetite characterises a depressed person.
- Difficulty in recalling details and tendency to over generalise as also problem-solving issues can point to the presence of depression.
- An excessive preoccupation with death that could eventually develop into suicidal tendencies
- Use of alcohol or medicinal drugs (sleeping pills, pain killers etc.)
How Suicide Can Be Prevented
Teens in a country like India and Pakistan are facing various types of stress. These stem from educators, peers and even parents themselves. As a parent or a guardian if you notice any changed behaviour or something that is out of the routine in your child, don’t wait or start assuming things over their changed behaviour. Please talk with your teen about their emotions and the negative thoughts in their life. They could be subjected to bullying – a problem that’s increasing in scope and that could devastate or even end lives. Make them feel comfortable enough to confide in you. The more information you have, the easier it will be to seek adequate assistance. Reduce the amount of stress your adolescent child is subjected to. If they’re dealing with a lot of schoolwork, you can temporarily reduce the number of chores. While teenagers need structure, and they have to learn about responsibility, flexibility at home can prove to be invaluable when it comes to addressing external stressors.
As for teenagers, it is essential to familiarise themselves with the reality of life and reality is bitter than what we aspire or expect from our lives. The only solution to convert that bitterness into sweetness is to face the problems rather run away from it. Suicide means ‘you quit’ which simply shows your problems are way greater than you – You, who is the mightiest of all beings on earth. Always remember, God always provide solutions with every problem; you just need to do a little extra hard work to find that solution 😊.
If you or your adolescents are struggling with depression and have suicidal thoughts, call the national suicide hotline at 042-35761999 or dial 15 from a landline.
For immediate online counselling services in Pakistan visit UMANG or call +92 317 4288665.
Stay Safe and Secure
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