A young boy, a child of 14 years, hanged himself to death recently because he was shocked and deeply disturbed by the news of Sushant Singh Rajput’s death.
What might have been going on in the child’s mind?
What made him tip over the edge and take that extreme step?
For how long may suicidal thoughts have been preying him before he succumbed to them?
It is so disturbing to realize that the very people whom we think are the happiest could be the ones who are fighting the darkest demons within themselves.
The COVID – 19 pandemic has attacked us, the human race, on many levels. The disease and the lockdown enforced has affected each of us physically, economically, emotionally and most importantly, mentally.
It has thrown the spotlight on the most vulnerable among us. It has forced a spike of over 20% in mental illness cases in the country.
Suicide is in fact the leading cause of non- COVID deaths in India in these last few months.
More than 338 people have died so far and a majority of these deaths are due to mental illnesses like depression.
Loss of jobs, social isolation, starvation and other socio-economic fissures are pushing more and more people to the brink. All the tension and anxiety adults brood over is stressing out young children too. They too are going through a period of confusion and trauma.
It is predicted that the post COVID scenario is set to be a breeding ground for an increase in depression, anxiety, chronic stress and more.
For decades, mental health has been a topic riddled with stigma and has not been given the attention, care or concern it deserves. Today COVID-19 has struck right at the heart of the issue. Mental health services which is an arena that has always been under-invested is now beginning to crumble, faltering under the enormous situation at hand.
Times are tough, there’s not one among us who isn’t going through a period of dire uncertainty, fear and anxiety. Prolonged fears for the safety of our loved ones could in no time, take a toll on our mental wellbeing. To add to that is the fear each one has of being tested positive and thereby dying alone.
This is a huge cause for depression and anxiety attacks especially among the elderly who live alone while their children and other loved ones live far away owing to jobs and the like. Young children too are just as vulnerable as the aged.
News broadcasts going into grisly details of the burial of each COVID death and viral videos of dead bodies stacked up in hospital corridors only worsen the scenario for those who are susceptible to anxiety, panic and depression.
Mental wellbeing is the need of the hour. With more and more people being cut off from their therapists or access to their social circles and loved ones, it is all the more important that each of us learn to fend for ourselves.
Biohacking is a stream of thought that has gained traction over the last decade. So much so that, it has now become the next-gen solution to pretty much every disease that plagues our lives, society and minds. When it comes to dealing with mental health, biohacking offers in numerous ways in which, with the help of science and technology one may take charge of one’s own biology and psyche.
Most of the practices that biohacking puts forth have in fact, been a part of Indian traditions and culture since time immemorial. Renowned biohacker, Sajeev Nair, for instance, points out how the western countries have only recently picked up biohacking practices while the people of India have been using these techniques for over 5000 years now.
An example of such a time tested biohack is meditation and the impact it has on your brain, neurochemistry and biochemistry. A dip in the levels of the neurotransmitters, serotonin and norepinephrine is what is believed to be the cause for the all too common condition called depression.
It is a proven, widely accepted fact that meditation helps one boost both serotonin and norepinephrine levels to healthy levels that will keep depression at bay naturally without the baggage of side effects that anti-depressant tablets bring along.
While such techniques can give us much-needed solace another means via which to stay protected is through genetic predisposition tests and path-breaking innovations like thought biotics.
Wellness tests can give you insights on genetic predispositions to a wide range of behavioral conditions like bipolar disorder, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, schizophrenia and more. It also helps you map your wellbeing thereby giving you the necessary guidance you require to achieve optimum mental wellness.
While treatments, biohacking and other methods do, to a large extent, provide comfort what really truly matters is that one ingredient that makes all the difference- Compassion.
All of mankind is undergoing a tough time. We can never know what is going on within the heart of a fellow human being whoever he or she may be. Even within families, each of us are like letters piled together in a post box. We may be under the same roof but within each of us is an entirely different galaxy of thoughts, fears, apprehensions and emotions.
Be compassionate. Be empathetic. More often than not all it takes to make the difference between life and death could be something as simple as a kind word, a smile or a loving gesture bestowed on a fellow being.
More than anything let this pandemic be for us the wake-up call we desperately need, to open our eyes, minds and hearts to those we have around.