Actress + filmmaker Pooja Bhatt had a heart to heart talk with Hindustan Times recently.
The pep talk was mostly about her life, social issues and a very intimate topic to her i.e. depression. The entire Bhatt family came together to support the launch of their daughter, Shaheen Bhatt’s book that revolves around her struggles with depression.
Pooja Bhatt who herself was suffering from alcoholism sometime back made a very rigid statement about the disease saying,
“There is a fallacy that it’s a rich people’s disease and people often say that you have the luxury of being depressed. The misconception needs to be erased.”
What Does It Mean?
Often known as “disease of affluence”, depression is associated as a rich person’s disease since it is believed to originate due to the increasing wealth in the society.
The concept of classifying depression as a rich person’s disease was introduced after the World War II, followed by an increase in social isolation and lower levels of psychological well-being observed in many developed countries.
The underlying concept of such a perception is that, rich people have the time to be depressed as they can relax and wonder about it. However, poor people are destined to struggle and work hard which eventually keep them occupied enough to not address their negative thoughts as an illness.
Pooja Bhatt talked about the same in an empowering disposition and said that the myth of depression being a rich person’s disease need to be busted.
What Makes Her Say This?
Coming from an affluent background with a history of mental illnesses, the Bhatt family has been open about the taboo topic as they understand the psychology of a ‘depressed person’.
Exemplifying her sister, Pooja says, “Shaheen has always been somebody intense from the time she was a child, who looked at life very intensely. She always kind of heard more, saw more and frivolity of life did not appease her, so if she feels this way it’s because there is something wrong with world and you can’t fix it.”
Breaking the stereotypes, she discusses that depression has more to do with communicating and being open about your emotions. One should give the space to people where they can vulnerably talk about their disease instead of bottling up.
“I am just glad that I was born in a family where I can come home and I can bare my soul ‘good, bad or ugly’ and that has kept me going. We need to listen to each other more. We live in a sick society to begin with, so don’t tell your closed ones that ‘go take these pills or have a sound sleep’. It’s not a pleasant world to live in right now, and you can’t be happy the way things are. If you are, then you are brain dead,” Pooja adds further.
Is It True?
According to a data released by World Health organization, around 320 million people are likely to suffer from depression worldwide. Young adult between the age of 18-35 are most likely to suffer from the same at least once in their life.
Such demographic evidently prove that depression is a disease prevalent everywhere in all aspects of life and has little to do with a person’s economic background.
Popping up antidepressants or seeing an expensive therapist is the price rich people pay for being depressed. Whereas, on the other hand the poor ones suffer in silence.
The judgement is also in accordance with the line of treatment taken by people who deal with depression. The affluent ones are aware enough to acknowledge their mental health and consciously take steps to deal with it. Thus, the turn up percentage is mostly composed of people from backgrounds and the data is accordingly maintained.
However, just because the poor lacks the resources to battle down their depression doesn’t mean they aren’t a victim to it.
It is saddening to see how depression is often regarded as a ‘fake disease’ and such a stigma holds back people from reaching out for help. It is high time that we normalize depression and accept it as an illness as it is not just important but the need of the hour.
Image Credits: Google Images
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