21-27 August 2015 #722

Depressed damsels

Whatever the cause of your depression, you owe it to yourself to go see a professional because you need to take care of yourself
Anjana Rajbhandary

Hello everyone,

Last week in my column ‘Girl talk: Maybe baby’, I wrote about how women are expected to fulfill a collection of roles and be good at all of them. Although we know we cannot be good at everything, we expect others to excel and if they don’t, we attack their values and question their upbringing. Having high expectations puts a lot of pressure on people. Women in Nepal generally try to do everything without complaining as it shows so-called strength. But we all have a limit to how much we can tolerate without breaking and when life gets rough, it is more likely for one to get depressed. There has not been a lot of research on depression among South Asian women as it is still considered taboo. I don’t doubt that there are hundreds of women who keep it together for the outside world but are completely broken on the inside. Depression can be caused by many factors: biological, cultural or social. Whatever the cause, you owe it to yourself to go see a professional because you need to take care of yourself.

Send me your questions to: askanjanaanything@nepalitimes.com or @AnjyRajy 

I am lazy, disorganized, sluggish and completely unmotivated. I am nearing thirty, and have no interest in anything except eating junk. I have an enviable job but I hate going to work each day, and my performance is a sham. I wake up wretched and go to bed restless. I feel resentful all the time thinking of my status as a ‘daughter-in-law’, which I find demeaning and humiliating. Perhaps this is nothing more than a quarter-life crisis, but everything is dull and dreary and pointless. Outwardly, I am pretty, agreeable, extremely happy, and my career growth is on a high. I am married to a loving man and his smile is the only thing that keeps me sane.- “S”

AR: I am extremely sorry to hear this- you have absolutely no interest in anything, you lack motivation, waking up in the morning and going to bed are a challenge: all these signs point to the fact that you are depressed despite having a loving husband and an amazing job. You mentioned feeling ‘demeaning and humiliating’ as a daughter-in-law and I am unsure if that is the only cause or if there are other factors. Are you experiencing any abuse (physical/ emotional/mental) from your in-laws? Do things feel pointless because of hormonal imbalance? You are still able to fake ‘happiness’. Reaching out for junk food is a very common coping mechanism but in the long term, it does more harm than good because it will affect your body image. I would suggest you to have an honest talk with your husband, go see a medical professional to get your hormones tested and/or talk to a mental health professional. It is great that you acknowledge the problem, and do make the effort to find a solution. Good luck.

Read also:

Overcoming depression, Anjana Rajbhandary

End pain, not lives, Anjana Rajbhandary

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