Suffering alone with depression …? [Ways to handle depression (Part-1)]

Brokenness and depression

Good and dedicated people are sometimes depressed when their goodness is taken for a ride. When there is continued suffering, exploitation, hopelessness, separations, unexpected tragedy and injustice people become upset and if it continues for a long time, it may result it depression. I have met persons who are depressed due to disappointment and unresolved issues of life where they are used and thrown out by some manipulators. Here the brokenness is there because one’s goodness is not understood or out of jealousy or other manipulations people are side tracked or abandoned.


Dr. Suresh one of our Professors of Psychology, from Annamalai University, Tamilnadu, India, in one of his lectures on counselling psychology told us the following, “Counselling psychologists will never lack work, because  the depression is on the increase. It is due to the fact that people don’t take care of themselves. By the year 2020, it may become a reality that one out of every three persons may require a counselling psychologist or a psychiatrist.” He said this 12 years ago and asked us prepare well so that we could help the humanity.

Reality today

Depression is suffered by considerable number of people in our society. It is a state where one looses life energy, feels tired, lonely, irritated for simple things, and gets into depressive mood often.

According to Medical Dictionary depression is defined as a mental state of altered mood characterized by feelings of sadness, despair, and discouragement, distinguished from grief, which is realistic and proportionate to a personal loss. Profound depression may be an illnessitself, such as ‘Major Depressive Disorder.’

Making a research on suicide the following team of US psychiatrist namely Steve Daviss, Annette Hanson & Dinah Miller published a book titled “Rising Suicide Rates: Have We Simply Failed?” In it they point to fact that the suicide rate is increasing but the ‘why’ of it is not clearly known. Today, May 8, 2013). According to them

The news from the Centers for Disease Control shows a striking increase in sucide rates.  Among those ages 35 to 64 years old  (the baby boomers), there is a 28% increase in suicide rates from 1999 to 2010. It holds for males (up 27%), females (up 31%), and across different regions of the country.  The peaks were seen in men in their 50’s and women in their early 60’s.  The gender difference continues to show that men die of suicide at three times the rate of women, and suicide is now the 4th cause of death for that age group.  More people die of suicide than car accidents.  The rise is most striking in non-Hispanic whites and Native American Alaskan Indians, groups that have always had the highest rates.  The  suicide rate is now 17 per 100,000, up from 13 per 100,000.  And while we worry more about homicide, suicide rates are twice the homicide rates.  Marriage is protective, as is a college education, and in fact the suicide rate in college-educated women went down.


There are also heated arguments among the experts to further make the DSM (Diagnostic Statistical Manual) more relevant with some more deeper study. (Edward Shorter, Ph.D. in How Everyone Became Depressed, May 8, 2013 in Psychology Today )


Image from July August 2010 ‘Rescue New Letter.’


Ordinary depression lasts for a short period and the person is able to recover from it soon or by a slight change of activity. This is caused by stress filled day, worries, lack of rest, tensions, etc.,

On the other hand the clinical depression has many precipitating factors like hereditary, continued exposure to violence, continued illness, hopelessness, sudden loss of something held very dearly, stress and even suicidal attempts.

Hope in depression:

If you are a person who suffers depression these reflections may throw some light on the intervention process. I shall try to elaborate further about it in the future posts dealing with the various themes centering around depression and how to deal with that. It is the result of dealing with persons suffering different kinds of stress and even depression. Collaborating with psychiatrists gave me more insights and clarity in this subject. Whatever is helpful you are welcome to take and always be open to the suggestions of the psychiatrists and other physicians in case of acute depression.


Prepare yourself to do something:

I would always invite those who suffer depression of any sort to prepare themselves to do something about it. It is a multi-faceted initiative which would involve the psycho-socio-physical & spiritual aspects of life.

Get help: the first suggestion would be to consult a physician along with a trained counselling psychologist if you experience continued symptoms of depression and burn outs. Immediate interventions will do something to handle the current conditions that makes one to suffer. And in the long run one has to plot through a way of self-care, faithfulness to medication, support groups, counselling to heal the wounds and persevere in the healing process. To be continued…!

[I dedicate these reflections to late Dr. Rasheed MD of Rasheed Hospital, Trichy, Tamilnadu, India who trained me in Clinical Psychology with lots of fatherly tenderness and insights. May God reward him in His abode!]

Charles Alphonse


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