What an inappropriate cover image to represent a blog on anxiety, depression and something as solemn as suicide. Get up from the judgment seat, please! A smiling face, a friendly person, a successful achiever, a beautiful model, a sociable dame, a ‘got-it-all-under-control’ guy are the new prototypes of Depression and Anxiety. They don’t throw their heads to the floor or tuck between their listless knees. You won’t find them in dark corners of the house or lonely hideouts. They are moving with you, all around you and maybe even you!
A star commits suicide today. Shocking-How could He- But he behaved just fine-even had a glass of juice before hanging himself dead. Was he depressed? How come no one got to know, he looked just fine.
Oh Yeah! When everyone asks you, the kind of’ fine’ is like a meeting ritual, “How’re you”. You retort mechanically, “Fine.” The sad part is that you didn’t mean to tell, and sorrier that they didn’t mean to ask.
Someone reading this is battling a mental health crisis but will never talk about it. But I will- today. Maybe this will come in the way of my entrepreneur image where people depend upon my professional expertise or critical decisions; they seek consultation for. That’s a pointer there- Our outward image is a barrier to our reaching out. We do not want to be judged and looked down upon as somebody sick with measles. So, we hug our vulnerable inner-self tighter inside ourselves and go on living in disguise, pretending our coping skills are super-charged.
We live as split personalities, different on the outside and another person on the inside. You see us as one person, but inside us are a thousand persons living in our heads. A cacophony of feelings- hunches, fears, apprehensions, anxieties, suspicions, desires, hopelessness, hopefulness, each trying to supersede one another. The lives we live inside don’t see a friendly soul outside, so they remain hidden. Sensitivity is the disease of the heart, and we don’t want people to know that. Instead, more than others, we stigmatize ourselves for being so sensitive.
Talking about our diabetes, migraine, or skin allergy is understandable and acceptable because it’s observable. If you cut your hand that bleeds, it calls for immediate first aid to plug blood flow. It’s harrowing to see the dark red pulsating blood flow painfully down the side and dribble on the floor. Pain, grief, anxiety, melancholy, and dashed hopes have no color or observable form even to get if it also exists. It takes crushing piling up inside to manifest in psychosomatic symptoms; until that happens, it’s hard to prove there’s a psychological war inside.
I’ve been trying to beat my anxiety disorder and OCD for years now. With all the fairness and compassion, psychiatric help is still seen as a branch of medicine that services the weak-minded social outcast. We fail to recognize the chemical chaos in our bodies, which causes us to feel differently. We do not see anything in a mental condition because there is nothing in there for us to see. What’s invisible is non-existent to most of us. Striking a blow on a fractured leg is atrocious but pounding grief on an anemic mind is unawareness to us. Nothing happened there because you didn’t have a visual of anything happening. The pandemonium is nevertheless always there.
What happens when someone starts a seemingly ordinary day, wakes up in the morning, fetches himself a glass of juice, locks himself in his bedroom, and hangs himself to death? Perhaps nothing new triggered at that moment. The looming dark thoughts hook up, and the moment gets power. Suicide is neither about cowardice nor a considerable act of courage but like someone jumping off the roof to rescue oneself from a thick fire leaping into life behind him. It’s escaping one’s thoughts that only existed for him; we cannot see it because we look for the math and the science behind it all. To me, suicide is taking away oneself someplace safe. Now what would the world look like to someone who thought that way?