Ten precious souls of Ghizer during the last thirty days decide not to live anymore when they were supposed to live a happy life. A woman in Skardu attempts to kill herself by jumping into the river because of her abusive husband when he vowed to her to be with her in hard times. A teenage boy shot himself to death a few months back in Hunza because he was unable to speak his mind! A girl killed herself when she was slut shamed and threatened by the man she loved. A teenage girl and her father were killed by her brother because she was sexually abused by her own “biological “father when he was supposed to protect her from the evil world.
There are numerous untold stories behind the closed doors; behind the masks, we were which needs to unfold before it’s too late.
The frequency of such news stories has dramatically increased during the last few years. There is an alarming situation in Ghizer, especially. It is hard to find the real culprits responsible for putting the victims in such vulnerable situations. All the responsible authorities should take immediate action against suicide prevention and Educate people about mental illness.
Having suicidal thoughts and attempting to end life doesn’t happen in just one day. It builds over a period of time with some visible symptoms such as talking about death, isolation, hopelessness, long lasting sadness and insomnia. Abusive relationships, misuse of social media and cell phones, pressures from society, lack of sleep and failing to maintain a healthy lifestyle leads towards depression.
American Psychiatric Association (APA) highlights mood disorders (anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder), drug addiction, traumatic past, physical illness, failures and being exposed to the suicidal behavior in surroundings to be the risk factors of suicide. The majority of us mistake depression comparing it to sadness and take it lightly which can lead towards life threatening situations. Below pictorial representation is a good example how it captures lives of the patients.
Disclaimer: It’s not necessary that there is always a man behind the depression.
Depression is a treatable mental illness. According to APA, the symptoms must last for two weeks for the depression diagnosis. I have been studying about depression for the last few years. All the articles mention Thyroid, when talking about depression. Researchers say that Thyroid fails to produce required hormones which regulate serotonin (a neurotransmitter mainly found in the brain, blood platelets, and digestive system) level, which is another cause of depression.
There is a common psyche where we blame a victim to be stupid or an attention-seeker. We fail to reach their minds, to what they are dealing with, we fail to find the reasons behind these tragic and disturbing actions by young boys and girls and women most of the time. They keep all their problems to themselves which stocks in human mind turning it into a black hole from where it is so difficult to return without help and therapy. One requires special care during mental illness, and if someone is courageous enough and brings his or her matters on the table in front of you, never avoid such a person! If you do so, there is a bad news you too will be adding to the darkness stock in their sensitive minds. Come to talk with you don’t brush them away. Appreciate them. Apparently, I’ve seen many people who highlight these suicidal cases but when someone goes to them they don’t even have the courage to give few minutes and listen to such patients. There is a common psyche in our society where we blame a victim to be stupid or an attention-seeker. We fail to feel the pain. They may be struggling with various emotional problems. We must appreciate if someone is willing to seek help. We must realize them that they are special and they have the capability of fight back difficult situations.we must assure them that they are not alone.
Every one of you out there dealing with depression and anxiety, and people in traumatic situations, I want to tell you this, “hold on”; don’t let the chemicals in your head mess with your precious life! There are a lot of people who love you and are willing to listen to your problems. You just need to go and talk. Most importantly I want to tell that you are born with unique talents. Hold on for another few minutes, get a glass of water, and take a pause. Distract your mind. I know it is painful but taking your life is not the solution; it will worsen things for people associated with you. You have to fight back, fight for yourself, your precious life! If you have a problem with your family, talk to some friend. If you are bothered by someone outsiders, talk to your family. They love you. They will help you find a solution. If you don’t want to talk, write it down! It helps! I know you are brave you just need to learn to appreciate your failures and value strength.
I’ve been dealing with depression for long.
There are times when I am called a lazy woman for staying in bad for long or not doing stuff. It is not that I don’t want to get done with things. Most of the times, I don’t have the courage to get up, My depression ties me with my bed. I cannot move. You know what I do in such situations?
I challenge those thoughts. Getting myself a glass of water is a great achievement for me and I appreciate that! When it is so difficult to get myself up I challenge myself and go for a bath! And for that I reward myself!
If I am very depressed and feel like wanting to leave this world, I go and grab a book and read. I paint, write, even if it is nonsense. I just distract my mind. You should do the same; always appreciate your small achievements! That’s how I distract crazy chemicals in my weird head! A healthy intake of foot on time also helps stabilizing our mental conditions you should never miss your meal. Sleep well and avoid being alone when you don’t know how to avoid suicidal and depressing thoughts.
If you know you have depression and you want to get help from someone, bravo! You are doing great! Go for it.
You won’t believe this; even my password is, “kill yourself”, without a space between the kill and yourself and, of course, without those tiny germs like symbols floating over F and K. I know it’s weird and freaking at the same times; it is absolutely fine to be crazy! This is how I avoid suicidal thoughts, by finding, and creating, humor in everything.
In my case, I guess it started when I was scolded for asking nonstop questions about everything when I started to analyze things. This is what kids do. They ask about their surroundings! It begins right there when people unaware of child’s sensitive behavior try to keep them silent. They would just shut me up. Scold. Why? Because, I was so keen to know about this world and asked my elders about this and that. A goodbye to my self-confidence! I won’t blame anyone because it was such a time people weren’t educated much to value such tiny things.
When I grew up a little older, I started to feel that I wasn’t treated equally among my siblings. My brothers would get more attention than me. I know, it’s common in our societies; boys have more freedom. They get more attention and love from our elders. Sometimes it is unintentional. Today’s parents focus on equal treatment of their kids but somehow at one point or another they fail. Again I would say tiny little things that need to be tackled very carefully. My family, being responsible and believers of equal rights, still failed at some point and there was another dent on my confidence, because I wanted to be a boy then!! Haha.
There come times when kids need their parents to make them feel confident. For instance, when I was in school parents didn’t attend a single annual function of my school. I would tell my parents to come to the school but they were busy harvesting and feeding cows, or in completing other chores. They would say, “No, I feel ashamed because other kids get positions and you guys just get passing marks”. And I would feel like saying, “but mom /dad, I’ve been a position holder throughout my school life! Isn’t that enough?!”
But, I never had the courage to confront!
Another common reason for depression is physical abuse among siblings, being hit by parents and too much pressure on kids. In the mountains, life is not easy. Our kids just don’t go to school and come home to take rest and play rest of the time; they have great responsibilities of taking care of their cattle, plants and many other things, which is a great way of life, but we need to set limits for everything.
When a girl reaches her teen age, most of the times she is made to feel ashamed of her physical changes. The physical changes she goes through are a taboo in our society. Not just the society, even parents forget that it’s a natural phenomenon and there is nothing to be ashamed of. Most girls feel guilt for being a woman.
Slut shaming is another major issue women in our society face. Maybe men too face the same, but most of the time a woman is slut-shamed, even when a boy and girl are equally responsible! A woman or a girl has more chances of being abused, because we live in a society where women are held responsible for violating norms. I would request all the women and girls to keep themselves away from becoming the prey of slut-shamers, because in the end you will be held responsible
It won’t be wrong to call puberty the most critical and sensitive period of human life. Everyone goes through drastic changes in this period, be it physical or emotional. In puberty, we reach at a fragile point. It’s the time when we set a track for our upcoming life. I still couldn’t find the solution for dealing with youth in their teens, but I know how I felt being there. I had a messed up teen life. I’ve always had been headstrong and fought sometimes by raising voice, taking actions or just letting things be as they are and not bothering about it, passive aggressive. This is the time when we have crushes and fall in “love”. At the time we don’t know that it’s just simple hormonal change, affecting our brain. We misunderstand infatuations with the idea of love, which itself is an unsolved funny mystery for me.
One of the major problems in our society is that we are not open with our kids in dealing with such issues. We don’t give them the confidence to talk when they need help. Especially in Gilgit-Baltistan, there is a huge gap between the elderly, parents and the young generation. For most of our parents and elders, our world is so unfamiliar.
During the past few decades, the pace of change has increased abruptly, because of access to technology. It is our responsibility to understand the changes, and the related conflicts, insecurities, vulnerabilities and critical situations. This is important if we want to act responsibly and become part of the solution.
If you kid fails in exam or gets fewer marks, then it is absolutely fine! It doesn’t mean your kid will be a loser in life. You may not know but most of the successful people have failed at some point in their lives. It is their failure that led them to be on top. All the parents and people who are reading this please, appreciate the failure of people around you and teach them to celebrate it because they are getting another chance to get things done in a better way! Not everyone is lucky to get a second chance!
Schools are second home of children. They play a key role in behavior building and teaching kids how to deal with social problems. I still remember that when I was in school teachers used to send kids to home if their parents didn’t pay their dues. It should be the responsibility of the teacher to talk to the guardian/parent. Kids are more sensitive and we have seen so many kids ending their lives because parents failed to pay their fees, and other expenses. It must be their responsibility to not only teach them how to read and write for the sake of better career, but also to teach kids to be happy; that’s the main purpose of life. I am saying it again and again, because learning to be happy in any situation and helping others to do so is a vital element in behavior building of any human being.
There are many reasons children get abused in childhood. People have failed to build a respectful personal space for their kids. It is my appeal to all the mothers out there; please don’t let your kids alone under the care of some relative. And teach them to report the “good” and “bad” touch of the people around them. Abuse starts from the home. First teach them to be safe under your own roof from every individual, even from the father, mother, brother, or sister. Yes. Incest is a real issue. Most people are abused their close relatives.
Relationships with family members matter the most. It should be healthy, caring and friendly for every single person living under one roof. Respect is given and taken.
It would be naive to blame any individual for such critical situations we are in because it is us who set the norms. It is us who make a society. Making a society great and happy needs responsible individuals who set healthy and peaceful norms for a better way of life. The abusers and victims both are part of the society.
I would request every one of you to respect others’ feelings and, in return, you will be respected. Never cross limits, because it can cost innocent lives. I request people who are in need of emotional help to please free your minds and talk everything you feel, and if someone judges your character or you, it is not your problem. It is theirs!
And all the parents out there, please educate your kids. If you are working hard for them, you should also be there when they need emotional assistance, because it’s not always the financial assistance and food they need. Spend time with your children and educate them about abuse. Teach them to live a happy life. It should be your foremost job. Being happy is as important as getting good grades, or good job. Act responsibly if you what to raise a great generation.
* The contributor does not want to be identified.