You know how everyone seems to be saying that they’re depressed? Well, I’ve heard people say it so much and so nonchalantly that I’ve come to believe that most people who say this aren’t depressed at all. Don’t get me wrong here, I do know depression is a medically diagnosed condition but the way today’s youth treats it and the way they just throw around the term so much, it’s hard to know who’s actually depressed and who isn’t. But why did I write this, you know this already. The reason I’m writing this is because I saw a person’s life change so much because of depression that I couldn’t recognise them.
I went to a wedding and I was bored of making small talk. I was looking around and seeing different people and what they all were up to. I noticed a young woman, around 27 years of age, sitting at a table with her mother. The woman was slunk back in her seat and it seemed to me that she had some sort of paralysis below her neck which escaped her hands as she could only move her face and her hand (wrist forward); even her facial muscles didn’t seem to be proper as she couldn’t give expressions as she wanted to. Her mother was feeding her food which she was swallowing, with a great difficulty, it seemed. Well, accidents happen and what do I know about her? I thought just this and went on with looking at people.
After half an hour, my eyes darted towards that woman again. It seemed like I knew her but it couldn’t be, right? I saw her shuffle in her seat and move a bit. I realised she wasn’t paralysed when I saw her get up from her seat with some help from the mother. Maybe her muscles were weak? Then I saw her mother help her to another table where they sat with their relatives probably. On meeting them, the girl tried to smile but her face twisted into an expression of agony and forced smile. It became clear she couldn’t express what she felt through her face. I was being nagged upon by my sister to go get something to eat, so we went away.
When we were on our way back home, I asked my mom about the lady. I couldn’t believe what she told me. This was the same woman I had met three years prior at another function (wedding of the present bride’s elder sister). I instantly remembered who she was! She was a bright and giggly computer engineer. “What happened to her?” I asked mum. She said to me, “she got married to her boyfriend who didn’t turn out to be the way she believed. He abused her, both mentally and physically. The family made her believe she was good for nothing as she couldn’t have children biologically and they made her a mess. When the woman’s family finally realised what was happening, it was very late. They divorced soon after but the girl was a mess already. It got so bad that she couldn’t even control peeing. She is physically alright but due to her mental strength being drained out of her, this is what she has come to.”
I couldn’t believe it. A person so cheerful and bubbly, in this state? I was shocked out of my wits. It was then that I finally realised how straining depression can be. I knew depression was a hole but a black hole at that, I never knew. I don’t mean to denigrate anyone’s experience with depression. But don’t throw around the term so carelessly..