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Tuesday, 1 November 2016

My Second Book : 'The D Word'



The D Word


(c) Shubhrata Prakash


To hell and back is a long way – to go and live to tell the tale.

That is exactly what Depression feels like. Like falling down a black hell hole. Like the rabbit hole in ‘Alice in Wonderland’: nothing is what it seems to be, nothing is what it was.

By Depression, I mean Major Depression, or Major Depressive Disorder, as it is technically called. And to set the record straight, Depression is NOT sadness. Major Depressive Disorder, or MDD, is a mood disorder, a mental illness. It is accompanied by changes in brain structure and chemistry. Low moods or sadness is just one of its many manifestations. MDD has physical symptoms as well as psychological symptoms. There is no catastrophic life event that brings on MDD. And……

……it can happen to ANYBODY!

When I was felled by Depression, I had no clue what it was all about. When I was floundering through the mental and physical swamps and sinkholes that Depression brought to my life, I tried desperately to understand what this illness is, how I could help myself fight it and how I could get to the other side. I looked around me for stories of people who had made it through and how they had done it. I did come across many success stories, but not one of them Indian.

Considering the fact that one out of every ten persons in the world suffers from a depressive episode some time in their lives, this should have been surprising. But, then, it was not. Actually, it would have been a wonder if I had found one, for we don’t talk about the ‘D’- word, even if we suffer from it. There is much of social stigma attached to the ‘D’ – word. And that’s a double whammy – first, surviving the illness, and then, surviving the social stigma.

That is when I decided that the ‘D’ needs to be brought out into the open – we need to talk about it. We need to fight the social stigma, and that can happen only when there is more awareness about it. People like me, who struggle with Depression for years and years, should have more access to information and knowledge about their condition. They need to know that it’s ok to be afflicted with a mental illness, which is not in their hands, much like any physical illness. The why’s and how’s of getting MDD do not matter. What matters is how to manage the condition and how to get better.

I have been to hell, and back – such a long journey. And I have lived to tell the tale.

Please help me get the word on ‘The D Word’ out there. People who suffer from Depression and their families, as well as society in general, would benefit tremendously, if we opened up about – ‘The D Word’.


14 comments:

  1. Good Morning Shubhrata Prakash, I read your above article on The D Word. But you are not looking Depressive in any way. your face is very charming and smilling and have killing instinct to impress others people without seeing and interacting with them. Regards Dr Balmiki Prasad Mobile Delhi +919968296490 Email drbprasad90@gmail.com

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    1. Dear Dr Prasad, thanks for writing in. That is exactly what the book intends to do - break the myth that people with MDD wear rags and have matted hair :) That is why my request to spread the word and encourage people to read the book.

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  2. Goodmorning Mam,it require lot of courage and self confidence to dwell upon a state of mind called Depression. It shows the higher level of confidence u had achieved over a period of time. Such elucidation from ur part is indicative of the maturity and stability u could achieve through various phases of ur life. I am sure this work will take you to the new realms of knowledge and recognition. Regards, Raj

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    1. Thank you very much for your kind words, Raj. Actually, on reading the book, you will find that Depression is not just a mental state but a mental illness with physical components too. This is what we need to spread awareness about. Thanks again.

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  3. Thought full. Well articulated. Thanks subu

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  4. Thought full. Well articulated. Thanks subu

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  5. Hello Shubhrata,
    Most of us have gone through it but prefer not to ponder over, let alone the thought of speaking or writing about it. It takes a lot of courage and strength to bring it to the open.
    Congrats brave girl.
    Sail on silver girl, sail on by.....
    Banibrata Datta.

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  6. Hello Shubhrata,
    Most of us have gone through it but prefer not to ponder over, let alone the thought of speaking or writing about it. It takes a lot of courage and strength to bring it to the open.
    Congrats brave girl.
    Sail on silver girl, sail on by.....
    Banibrata Datta.

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    1. Thanks a lot for the thumbs up Bani Da....my request is to just spread the word among your friends so that more and more people read the book. Society needs to know about a very less understood illness so that myths can be busted and social stigma can go away. Thanks for writing in.

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  7. Dear Shubhrata, for those of us who have known you from childhood through youth and your mature life, seeing you grapple with this disease the last 5+ years and trying to get your mind back, your life back has been traumatic. Thank you for continuing to fight it for your family's sake, for your sake and our sake. Thanks for taking the time to present and discuss facts about depression. Best, Abha

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    1. Thanks dear Abha, for your kind words. Childhood friends like you have always added strength to my fight by steadying me when I've faltered and further hoisting me up when I've been steady. Thanks for being there. You are a blessing in my life.

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  8. Congrats Shubhrata Di...when is the book due to be published?

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  9. Thanks Rajni. The book will be available around the end of this month. Will keep you posted.

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