10 Depression Signs And Symptoms

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Highlights

Persistent sad, anxious, or "empty" mood throughout the day

You are constantly having feelings of hopelessness or despair

You are having Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness

Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities that were once enjoyed, even sex

Decreased energy, fatigue, or feeling "slowed down"

Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions

Insomnia, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping

Appetite and weight loss or overeating and weight gain

Restlessness or irritability

Thoughts of death or suicide or actual suicide attempts

We often misunderstand depression with just temporary negative emotions. I want to clear that depression is not an emotion, it's an illness. Back in the day, an outcast was one who was not part of a society for breaking a certain law. Someone like Robin Hood, who was celebrated. But now we are in the 21st century, and a depressed person is an outcast. On the one hand, a person crawling through shadows hiding what they feel are portrayed as people with "ideal behaviour"

And if you live in an Indian society, then there is added pressure on your head. I remember when I was 16 years old, and I went to my parents and said that I think I have depression. You can see I was still in denial. I said "I think". And this is how they reacted exactly: "Are you mad? You don't even know what depression is. You have everything in life." And just then, I thought I could not afford to get depressed, or it will break my family. This is the kind of denial we live in throughout our lives. My parents thought that I have food in my mouth and a warm bed to sleep in the night, how could I have depression? Depression was only for the less privileged.

But I want to tell you that our life is not a bed of roses. And our thinking is so Hollywood. Just as in Hollywood films, aliens always attack western countries, they never come to India. This is exactly how we treat depression. Only a first-world country could have depression. It's as if we're not "qualified" to have it.

But I'm here to tell you that now is the time you come out of your shell of denial and accept it as you are. This is not the time or era to lie to yourself. There are some basic human emotions that you can feel from time to time, like- feeling unloved or hopeless sometimes. It is a normal part of the human experience, and there is nothing wrong with it. Death can cause it in your family or friends, or a romantic break up or getting a poor grade or not getting a promotion at work. So keep a clear line between these emotions and the signs I am going to point out below.

I want to point out 10 important signs of depression. While you are reading this, try to analyse the difference between temporary sadness caused due to an event and the signs listed down below:

Following are the 10 signs of depression-

  1. A Persistent sad, anxious, or "empty" mood throughout the day.
  2. You constantly have feelings of hopelessness or despair- when you always see the negative aspect of everything and thinking of the worst of every event of your life.
  3. You constantly have feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness- when you always feel guilty for your actions. You think that you are not made for anything in your life, and you feel like you have hit rock bottom.
  4. Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities that were once enjoyed, even sex- When you lose interest in any activity in your life, and you want to lock yourself in your room and want to go away from everything.
  5. Decreased energy, fatigue, or feeling "slowed down" - when you always feel tired, and sense exhaustion as if your mind will explode at any moment.
  6. Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions- When you cannot remember the most natural things, and you find it so difficult to make any decision on your own for the smallest things like what you want to eat for dinner.
  7. Insomnia, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping- When you are just rolling on your bed the whole night and you cannot sleep. Or sometimes when you sleep you sleep for a long time. If you are experience disturbed sleep or tend to wake up very early in the morning, it might be a problem.
  8. Appetite and weight loss or overeating and weight gain- When you don't feel like eating at all or when you eat, you eat like this is the last day of your life. And this leads to weight gain or weight loss.
  9. Restlessness or irritability - when your mind and body are always in an anxious state, which leads to irritability.
  10. Thoughts of death or suicide or actual suicide attempts- If you are having suicidal thoughts, then this is a warning sign, and now is the time to get help from the professionals.

Why You Should Care?

World health organization reports that India is the most depressed country in the world. One in six Indian suffers from depression. The most number of deaths between 15 to 24 years of age is not due to road accidents but due to suicide. Isn't it alarming that we are losing our bright minds to depression? We are one of the fastest-growing economies in the world and imagine what we can do if we are able to save these brilliant minds. So if you want to help such people then dont hesitate to talk to them. Because together, we can.

Now you have read, and you can evaluate what kind of thoughts or feelings you are having. Now you have a clear outline of what state you are in. Don't ever hesitate to talk about it. But know whom to talk to. Only open to people who support you as you are without distorting your thoughts or emotions and are accepting of all kinds of behaviour - no judgements.

In the next article, I will talk about the reasons and how you can overcome this illness. And believe me, it's not difficult. With a good support system and determination, you can do it as I have done it.

So feel free to tell me how you feel and what types of thoughts or feelings you are having. You can leave your comment in the comment section.

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The Bois Locker Room: An Instagram Chat Or A Wake-up Call?

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If you’re not already aware of what this case is all about, a group of young boys in Delhi on a private Instagram chat (screenshots of which were shared around later) called “Bois Locker Room” were seen objectifying, degrading, rating, demeaning young girls, sharing their pictures (some of this girls were only 14-15 years old) and even threatening to rape or kill them in case they got exposed. 

Screenshots of this group chat were shared across social media platforms - predominantly Instagram and Twitter, after which the school authorities of these students (the 20+ boys) requested the Delhi police to investigate the incident.

The Delhi police have so far found that some students of leading South Delhi schools created the Instagram group in the last week of March and started adding their friends. “A few members are in college. Some of the teens allegedly started sharing photos posted by schoolgirls on their Instagram accounts, and passing sexually explicit comments,” an officer said, adding that the purported chats also included threats of sexual violence.

DCP  Anyesh Roy told The Indian Express, “After we came to know, we registered an FIR under Sections 465 (forgery), 471 (using as genuine a forged document or electronic record), 469 (forgery for purpose of harming reputation), 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) and Sections 67 (publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form) and 67A (publishing or transmitting of material containing sexually explicit act in electronic form) of the IT Act. 

The case is still under investigation. But..

All the right things that could’ve gone wrong: 

First off, the boys on the group chat threatened some of the girls to rape, kill, and humiliate them if they dared to share any of this information with anyone. But the girls, being well-educated (and smart) enough to know that no such thing could actually take place if a complaint was lodged, went ahead to expose them anyways. But you see, things like this happen EVERY DAY and young girls are often a) either too ignorant to pay attention and brush off these issues as “minor” or b) scared of the empty threats that honestly have no real follow-throughs.

Second, the school authorities specifically requested the police to investigate the incident. Now again, this may not have happened in many other cases. A lot of times, any kind of vulgar behaviour, especially in schools and colleges in India, is looked upon as high risk to the reputations of these institutions so they prefer to sweep it all under a carpet

And third, social shaming. In cases like these, we bless the speed of the internet. Social media fastens the process of information spreading, and it is necessary for people to acknowledge this pro of social media platforms. But more often than not, a lot of serious issues may be lost under all that is glitter and jolly good, unicorns and rainbows - But this piece of incident DIDN’T. Imagine the number of people that want to have a voice to socially bring shame to their oppressors, but are unsuccessful. At least this one caught the eye - and the punishment of being recognized as a “so and so” in case of this incident will stick with the boys for a lifetime. 

Now, the case is under investigation, and a judgment has not yet been made. But it’s clear to the general audience that since some of the girls (whose pictures had been shared on the group chat) were underage, this is child porn. So not only are what these boys doing morally incorrect, but also illegal under IP section 292, 293. 

We hope for the best outcomes.



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What Is Herd Immunity? Everything You Need To Know

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Picture a herd or community of healthy people. An infectious virus or disease would pass easily through the community from person to person. Vaccines train our immune system to protect us from diseases it hasn’t come in contact with before. For example, the MMR vaccine provides immunity against measles, mumps, and rubella. During an outbreak of a disease, vaccinated people will remain healthy. As they won't become infected, they won't pass on the disease. Hence, if most of the community is vaccinated, it makes it difficult for the disease to actually spread to the rest of the community. This is the basis of herd immunity. 

If most people in the community are not vaccinated, herd immunity can break down, allowing the disease to spread more easily.

Herd immunity becomes especially important for the individuals in a herd who can't be vaccinated. These could be people who are either too old, too young or have weaker immune systems

Herd Immunity without Vaccination: Another way the building of herd immunity could happen is if many people contract the disease and in time build up an immune response to it (natural immunity). In this case, the herd would have to be fit enough to contract the disease, survive it and then become immune towards it. 

 It is important to note that in order for herd immunity to take action, the disease/virus must be categorized as a Contagious one. (capable of spreading)

COVID-19 and Herd Immunity In India

Renowned Immunologist and Cell Biologist Dipyaman Ganguly has said that one of the only hopes in defeating the novel coronavirus is by developing ‘herd immunity,’ 

In an interview with news9, he said, “This coronavirus is not going anywhere. Viruses don’t go anywhere. They may become weak but its strand remains. The virus will keep infecting people until a large population develops immunity against it.”

He has also stated that immunity could only be achieved through a vaccine or by getting infected by the virus. “Since developing a vaccine for COVID-19 is not an easy task and it is unlikely that we will get one soon, the only hope that remains is that of herd immunity and it is bound to happen.”

Explaining the idea of herd immunity further, he said, “The virus is going to infect a large number of populations in India. When a large number of people get infected, their bodies will develop natural immunity. They will stop the virus from spreading further by breaking the chain of infections transmitted from one person to another.” “Since I am closely monitoring the situation, I am sure that we are moving towards herd immunity,” he added. 

Studying infection trends in India, he said that most coronavirus cases will be asymptomatic. Patients will recover through natural immunity and vitamin boosting medication suggested by doctors. However, those with existing health conditions could develop severe complications as the virus is shown to aggravate symptoms. 



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