Mental health: ‘Dangal girl’ Zaira Wasim coping with depression, pens down struggle

Bollywood actress Zaira Wasim, who is popularly known as Dangal girl has penned down an emotional social media post, describing her on her ongoing fight with the depression. Depress is a mental illness, and in India out of 20 people 1 suffer from this mental disorder

Mental health: ‘Dangal girl’ Zaira Wasim coping with depression, pens down struggle

“I am writing this to (finally) admit and confess that I, for a very long time have been suffering from severe anxiety and depression,” reads a post written by Zaira Wasim.

Depression is a mental illness. But, most of the people who are going through this condition, do not accept this due to the fear of how society wil view them and stigma attached with it. But, Zaira Wasim, Bollywood’s Dangal girl, has come forward to accept and face that she was going through depression.

While describing her emotional struggle with depression Zaira writes, “Popping 5 antidepressants every day, anxiety attacks, being rushed to the hospital in the middle of the night, feeling empty, restless, hallucinations, nerves breakdown and suicidal thoughts were all the parts of this phase.”

“At the age of 12, I had suffered the first panic attack and the second when I was 14.  Now, all I remember is losing out counting on the panic attacks and the medicines I have had, and still having, losing count on the number of times I have been told, It’s nothing, you are too young to be depressed.”

“It’s been almost four-and-half years since i have been diagnosed with anxiety and depression, today i am finally ready to understand the illness. Depression is not a feeling, it’s an illness. It’s not somebody’s choice or fault.”

Wasim shared this post on twitter to make people aware about uphill battle one faces when going through  depression:

But, Zaira is not alone. There are crores of people living in India, those who have depression but do not accept to come to terms with it, as a sigma is attached to the word ‘depression.’

As per World Health Organisation (WHO) in India, there are 36 per cent people who are suffering from depression.

As per the health ministry:

  • The prevalence of mental morbidity is high in urban metropolitan areas.
  • Mental disorders are closely linked to both causation and consequences of several non-communicable disorders (NCD).
  • Nearly 1 in 40 and 1 in 20 people suffer from past and current depression, respectively.
  • Neurosis and stress related disorders affect 3.5 per cent of the population and was reported to be higher among females (nearly twice as much in males).
  • Data indicate that 0.9 per cent of the survey population was at high risk of suicide.
  • Nearly 50 per cent of persons with major depressive disorders reported difficulties in carrying out their daily activities.

While speaking to My Medical Mantra, Dr Omprakash, said, “Depression does not have an age. Young children too can suffer from depression. Anxiety attacks in children, mental pressure, tension are the few causes, but there is no particular reason for depression. Hormonal changes, living in a broken family can too cause depression. Depression can be cured and nowadays government hospitals also have made treatment of depression affordable.”

Dr Pritam Chandak, a Nagpur-based child and adolescent psychiatrist, said, “Depression in children usually arises from a combination of genetic vulnerability, suboptimal early developmental experiences, and exposure to stresses. Enduring problems in the relationship with the primary caregivers  also is an important risk factor for depression. Depression may affect 2 per cent of children and 4 to 8 per cent of adolescents, with a peak incidence around puberty.

It may be self-limiting, but about 40 per cent of affected children experience a recurrent attack.

Dr Chandak further added, “Children and adolescents with mild depression can be managed with active support and symptom monitoring, while those with moderate-to-severe depression can be treated with psychotherapy and/or antidepressants, which may involve referral to mental health specialty care.”

Facts on depression:

Depression seems to be more common among women than men.

Symptoms include lack of joy and reduced interest in things that used to bring a person happiness.

Life events, such as bereavement, produce mood changes that can usually be distinguished from the features of depression.

The causes of depression are not fully understood but are likely to be a complex combination of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychosocial factors.