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Am I suffering from depression?

Q: I am a 20 years old male student and I think I suffer from depression. I read a chart at a doctor’s residence and found myself suffering from most of the symptoms of depression. I think that I am unlucky for myself and to others around me. I used to be a good student but I score low marks in exams nowadays. I feel that there is nothing good in my life but I won’t kill myself. I cannot consult any doctor because my parents would think that I am mad. I can't take decisions. My future is hopeless. Please advise.

A:Well, this is the age when one tries to branch out and take a particular direction. It appears that you perceive that there might have been a wrong decision about your career, which is making you as you are. In fact there is nothing right or wrong but what one makes it to be. It is about learning and persisting and trying your very best.

There is of course another philosophy, that there is just one life and one should try to do what they like and that will bring them the satisfaction. On the other hand there is a saying that it is better to like what you do rather than the other way around.

The other theme emerging is the sense of hopelessness and lack of enthusiasm. When one is in such a state, one starts perceiving even positives as negative.

But, how does one try to change their state of mind: It is about taking one day at a time. It is about taking a step back, re-examining the options and at times starting afresh. It is about taking support from family and friends. If these measures are unsuccessful, it could be a good idea to visit a clinical psychologist for regular counselling/ psychotherapy sessions.

What is important is that there are different kinds of mental health problems and it is certainly not "madness". It is our thinking that creates and perpetuates the stigma. And if because of stigma, we hesitate seeking help, it has the potential to worsen and then lead to significant disruption of our lives. Mental health problems are like any other physical problems and there are doctors to seek out help from. All the best.

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