Tag Archives: depression

Abuse

27 Apr

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Image Source: 123rf.com

She sat huddled in the corner of her room. Her back was pressed against the wall, as if hoping for some grounding, some support. Her knees were drawn close to her chest, her arms tightly wrapped around herself, almost seeming like she was trying to soothe herself with a hug. Tears dropped intermittently from her eyes, her body emitting an occasional shudder. Her eyes glanced over her arms and legs, looking for the red marks from the lashing she had just received. A quivering hand rose up to her face, tentatively hovering over it, almost scared of brushing over a stretch of slashed skin. She sat there for what seemed like hours, her heart rate accelerating with the rise in the sound of the footsteps outside her locked door. The footsteps of a burly man, a man she had loved, even revered, for years.

She woke up the next day as the alarm clock blared at 7 AM. Laying a few minutes in bed, she steeled herself for another day. As she stood in the shower, with the cold water pouring down on her, she almost wished that it could also wash away the memories of the previous night. She applied two extra coats of concealer under her eyes, an attempt to ward off the anticipated queries from her co-workers about her growing dark circles. She wondered if there was any concealer available in the market which could also mask the look of death in her big, black eyes. She trudged through the day, immersing herself in the pile of files on her desk, hoping to distract herself from the impending doom that awaited her at home at night. One could never unearth the whirlpool of emotions inside her which was wrecking her sanity, every moment, every day. As she cracked jokes, and laughed along with her co-workers, not one of them was able to look past her façade, and tell her that she seemed to be trying too hard; that even if her face was perennially split into a wide smile, her eyes were still vacant.

10 PM, she shuffled around the house, completing her chores and hoping against hope, that tonight will be the night she would be spared. She tried to be as invisible as she could, hoping that if he didn’t see her much, he wouldn’t flare up. Wishful thinking. Just a few minutes later, he sought her out, and on started the insults, berates, belittling, threats, and mockery. His verbal blows rained torrentially on her, every word searing through her like acid-tipped arrows. She winced through them, cowering, sobbing, fighting back, and weeping, in unending cycles; until she was resorted to a lump of flesh and bones pressed hard against the wall, her knees drawn close to her chest, and her arms wrapped tightly around herself.

Relentless loop. Every day. Every night.

She did not have any scars to show for her abuse. There were no breaks on the surface of her skin; no cuts, burns, or slashes. But her heart, soul, and psyche was repeatedly stabbed at every night. Sure, there were no outward signs of distress; but if one would have ever looked closely at her, one could have fathomed her pain. Her shoulders drooping with a veiled burden, her vacant eyes, and her deadened spirit and zest for life were her scars.

Emotional abuse is as real, painful, and damaging as physical abuse. It is time we give it the attention it silently screams for.

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The Duality of Mind and Body

28 Nov


Image Source: uk.pinterest.com

The 58 year old woman has a severe backache, years of toiling around the house had sucked the calcium out of her bones. She manages to drudge along during the day, but as the night falls, her bed suddenly seems to transform itself into an iron slab studded with sharp nails. She tosses and turns all night, only to wake up the next morning, tired and lacking energy, day after day.

The 15 year old boy was the pride of his high school basketball team. Towering at a height of 6″1′, the only sound accustomed to his ears while playing, was the resounding roar from the crowd, chanting his name. Fate seemed to have cruelty in store for him, and he lost his left leg in an unfortunate car accident. Gone was his leg, and along with it, gone was his glory. Unable to grapple with the loss of adulation so abundantly bestowed upon him earlier, his self-confidence received a massive blow, and he started avoiding social gatherings.

The cancer victim, a 42 year old man, had undergone numerous sessions of chemotherapy to demolish the parasitic cancer cells in his body. Having always been a zesty person, he marched on bravely through the first few months, determined to bring cancer down to its knees. The degenerative disease took its toll on him over the next couple of months, and the zest was soon replaced with hopelessness. Along with the cancer cells, chemotherapy seemed to also have demolished his interest and ability to find pleasure in life.

The frail, malnourished child who had been abandoned by his birth parents, met his guardian angels at the age of 3 years, when the benevolent couple adopted him and brought him to their home. The child, they noticed, was not as energetic as his peers, and often plopped down in the middle of a game of running around the garden, fatigued.

Suffering from typhoid, the 28 year old man had lost his appetite. Much to his wife’s vexation, no variety of savoury food could awaken his hunger, and he would only peck at the dishes laid out in front of him, forcing tiny morsels of food down his throat.

What would we expect the family members of all these people suffering from the physical illnesses to do?

Do we expect them to be empathetic, and frantically seek medical help for their loved ones?

Or do we expect them to shower their loved ones with suggestions like “Just get over it”, “It has been so long, you need to move on now”, and “It is all in your mind, if you try hard enough, you would get cured.”?

A person diagnosed with depression also had the sleeplessness of the old lady, the hopelessness of the cancer victim, the fatigue of the malnourished child, the low self-esteem of the erstwhile basketball hero, and the loss of appetite of the man suffering from typhoid. However, instead of being offered medical help, they are often expected to magically recover, by just trying to snap out of it.

It’s time that we accept the tribulations of the people suffering from mental illnesses like depression, and treat them as we would someone with a physical illness.

The pain is the same. The approach to treatment also needs to be the same.