Our country, India, was already on the backfoot when this pandemic hit. The growth rate was down, the economy was in tatters and job losses were plenty. Coronavirus came and broke what was left of an already broken backbone. Crores of people have lost their jobs and many have become homeless. Government is neither able to curb coronavirus cases nor holding its citizen’s hands in these trying times. Everyone seems to have been left to fend for themselves which has given rise to depression in India.
Countries that were well-off did not have much problem since people were wealthy enough to not work for a few months. In India, things are quite different. Most people here need to work every month in order to survive. India is witnessing an increasing suicide rate. Every few days there is news of someone dying by suicide.
Recent Death of Famous People
Sushant Singh Rajput was one of the most high profile people to have died from suicide. Since the coronavirus became a pandemic, many TV actors, social media influencer, an up and coming cricketer among many others, ended their lives. These are just the people who were famous, there would be many others whose death doesn’t even make to the news. If these people who are financially well off than most people have to end their lives just think what could be happening to the people who are poor.
Loss of Jobs
Although there is no data for this speculation the high number of suicide cases in India could be directly linked to the loss of jobs and loss of income in the country. Many people are being laid off due to coronavirus with no additional jobs being created. To people who don’t have much savings, which are plenty, a loss of a job is akin to homelessness.
This has understandably increased depression in India and people are on the edge.
Sushant Singh’s death and the discussion around it
Sushant Singh’s death was a shock to many. Instead of working towards reducing depression in India, the discussion around it has turned into a circus at the moment with media and the general public alleging foul play. To most people in India, committing suicide due to depression is still unfathomable. The discussion around his death should have motivated people to see depression in the same light as other diseases, the reality could not be more different though. From murder to black magic, every fantasy that originates common man’s mind is given more surety than depression.
It is entirely possible for Sushant Singh Rajput to have been murdered but the way depression is being sidelined from the general discussion about his death is alarming. It shows the number of understanding people has about this deadly disease. People just cannot accept the fact that a person who was seen smiling in his social media post could be depressed and end his life.
Why are you depressed? Just try to be happy!
A depressed person who was thought to be possessed in ancient times is still misunderstood today despite all the medical advancements. Sushant Singh’s death should have removed the stigma around depression and should have made it a mainstream topic of discussion, but instead, his death has been hijacked by some people for their personal agendas. The likes of Kangana Ranaut, Arnab Goswami, Deepika Padukone and others have made his death a shield behind which they hide while saying the most offensive of things about people they don’t like.
How much of India is depressed?
It is estimated that around 56 million Indians suffer from depression. In addition to that 38 million Indians suffer from some form of anxiety disorder as well. According to the National Mental Health Survey 2016, India has one of the highest prevalences of mental illness in the world. This data is from before the pandemic, just imagine the number now.
More than 2 million Indians die by suicide every year. The number of suicide attempts must be through the roof. To say that Indians are very depressed would be an understatement.
The only solution to depression is therapy and medication. While both of those tools are available, it is the stigma around them that holds a depressed person back. Arnab Goswami shouting at the top of his lungs dismissing depression as a potential cause for Sushant Singh’s death only makes things worse.