The pressures to perform ably at home are higher on women. They are enslaved to slog in the male-dominated society. Her complex physiology, pre-menopause and menopause, emotional vulnerability, lack of appreciation or acknowledgement contribute to make her an easy prey. Here’s a report by Rajul.
Depression in women is a very common. The plight of women in some states is such that being a woman is a curse. The fairer sex is a significant contributor to depression with suicidal tendencies. According to World Health Organisation, depression is 50 per cent higher in females. The World Mental Health Report adds that depression is two to three times more common in women. The grim reality is that it’s a silent killer.
Dr. Parul Saxena (MD, Family Medicine) says that sometimes the symptoms of a disease for which the subjects are being treated, are actually because of underlying depression. For example, uncontrolled diabetes despite following a healthy lifestyle with timely insulin dosage or sudden rise in blood pressure or some very ordinary looking dangerous problem like, obesity.
She adds, the complex physiology of women, hormonal changes during and after childbirth, her pre-menopause and menopause, make her an easy prey.
Dr. Priyanka Pal Mantri (MD, Dermatology) confirms that emotional condition of a woman can considerably aggravate her skin and hair related problems. Prof. Manjul Pande Parvez (Department of Psychology – AGDC, Lucknow) opines that occasional emotional outburst doesn’t mean that a person is depressed. However, if it persists and escalates with time, then it is a cause of concern. It is important to take an expert advice, if necessary treat it with prescribed medicines. Counseling sessions help overcome depression too.
In fact, any behavioral disorder, which grows and is self-destructive, must be checked and addressed immediately. In advanced stages, depression is fatal. Experts rued that what we view on TV might contribute to depression. It is recommended not to take daily soaps seriously – some people do so – but to ensure variety of your watch-list. Other vital changes in your lifestyle are must too.
Several psychologists opined that people condition girls to adhere to certain gender specific roles, chalked out, and accepted as norms, by the Indian society. Similar situations are reported from many Asian countries. In developed nations the story is different. If we try and change the social conditioning and nurture girls as confident individuals, we might succeed in reducing depression in women, later.
The problem with the power structure of the patriarchal society is that it ignores the sorry plight of women. It turns a blind eye to their grief and pain to perpetuate the exploitative structure. In such an atmosphere, women carry out the grim drudgeries, termed as ‘responsibilities’ of home and hearth. The home-maker tag is akin to killing her gently, with a velvet glove. Working women are expected to handle all work pressures, smile and be sweet, catering to the expectations of the in-laws’ family. Add to this her responsibility of looking after her husband and children, and multi-tasking everywhere. To make matters worse she is chided for the smallest slips. In the final analysis, women hardly feel accomplished.
Psychologist Beena Mahadevan said that infidelity and adultery in married women is lesser than men in India. But even the women who stray, it is mostly because someone made them feel ‘special’ and ‘wanted’. However, in young men it is either heart-break or mostly ‘boredom’. In comparison with women, cases of adultery in men are far less because of depression.
The reason for depression might be emotional melancholy, which, in turn, disturbs the normal secretion of hormones in the body. People unknowingly start drowning in this black hole like space, which doctors call depression. As mentioned earlier, TV has aggravated depression. Watching repeat telecast of the same accident, terror attack or communal riot causes fear to become the governing emotion. This then results in depression. Women are more prone to depression because they are emotionally far more vulnerable.
Today, when we hear terms like ‘women empowerment’ or schemes like ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’, it is important to think about them in our homes too. Next time, if you find women take no interest in dressing up and in eating properly, despite doing her household chores or if she shuts herself in a room doing nothing or sleeps more than she ever did, your red flag should be up. It is time to pay attention and make them happy without making it too obvious. It takes little efforts, like appreciations, encouragements, giving time and support wherever required. Yoga and meditation helps but motivation is far more important.
Give the woman her due. She will give back way too much.
Pix from Net
Rajul Tiwari is an educationist, writer, author, editor and poetess. She writes in English and Hindi with equal ease. She heads a publishing unit and her poetry book ‘Beats of Beauty’ has been appreciated by many critiques and poetry lovers. In 2002 & 2004, she was honoured with ‘Editor’s Choice Award’ by International Library of Poetry, US. Rajul is gracious and acknowledges the goodness in others. Her disarming and winsome smile is endearing.