When we talk about physical illness, it mostly comprises of diseases and disorders affecting the physical well being of a person; i.e., of or relating to the body, as distinguished from the mind or spirit. Ever thought of mental well-being? Ever wondered what happens when your mind, body and soul are not in sync? What if there is an imbalance in a person’s psychological well-being? This phenomenon is often termed as Mental Illness and must be given equal importance as is given to physical illness. What would be the use of the body if your mind and soul are not happy inhabiting it? The inner being of a person is as important as a cut or wound on his/her body.
A physical disorder, the term is in use to differentiate diseases or disorders that can be diagnosed or are easily detectable by medical examination ranging from mechanical tests to laboratory or imaging tests from the ones that cannot be detected by mechanical and laboratory tests and are very hard to diagnose by medical examinations. These types of disorders can only be understood by a person’s behaviour and can only be diagnosed by Diagnostic and Statistical manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)—published by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) which offers a common language and standard criteria for the classification of mental disorders.
Mental illness can be of many types and is often characterized by disturbances in thoughts or behaviour of a person which can result in suffering or a poor ability to function in life. The most common of all is depression; almost every person in his/her life at some point has been a victim to depression. It’s time to give it equal importance as one would give to fever and seek help from medical experts.
Fight Against Depression & Enlightening The Soul (FADES), in association with Duayen Foundation (A Non-Government Organization working towards many child rights issues and the betterment of the society’s beggars from the ground-level), is an organization that has been founded to look after every need of a care-giver and the person living with a certain diagnosis to live a life free from the vicious grips of hollowing feelings, situations and misunderstandings. For several years, Shilpa Pitroda suffered from depression but she being the strong woman she is, fought against it viciously and one fine day she was relieved from the clutches of the self-absorbent devil. After this incident, she was struck with the thought that if she can be a victim to such a condition which gobbles down a person’s self-integrity, robs off happiness from a person; strips self-confidence off a person then there can be numerous other people in India undergoing such condition and much more. So, she along with others, started an initiative called FADES to address mental illness and how being emotionally sane is the most important part for a person to be able to live a happy life. FADES takes a stand against the taboo posed by the society of not being able to talk openly about depression and other severe mental disorders and welcomes people who have recognizable signs of such disorders to talk openly about them. After all, emotional well-being is as important as physical health.
The vision of FADES is quite straightforward; they are here to make a difference in the way people think, especially the society. They want to eliminate the mental-illness taboos from the Indian Society so that more and more people come forward and talk. They have their own team—Shilpa Pitroda, the founder; Addlin Sussan, the cofounder; Dr. Dhara Patel, Suraj Jangid, Ashish Sharma, Saba Hussain, Dev Ashish Sahoo, Jagat Singh, Dr. Sweta Kansal and Raja Mishra are the members of the executive team. They are on a mission to prevent, spread awareness, articulate and be a helping hand to people who cannot cope with their life.
Change begins with us. Blaming the society wouldn’t be of any help. If we the people are sensible enough to know what is wrong and what is right, it is our responsibility to take a stand against this unequal treatment posed by the society and its habit of dusting off issues related to mental illness under the carpet. FADES has a motto as such; ‘Exchange your tears with a smile with us.’
If we offer an ear to listen and a smile to offer some solace to people fighting with depression, this little attempt towards their betterment works wonders. A small step at a time can bring out the biggest of change. Shilpa Pitroda, with this initiative looks forward to bring out a change in the society and change the statistical data of India, which tells that India has the highest number of depressed people in the world.
With acceptance comes the ability to face depression. Hiding from it or acting as if nothing is wrong isn’t going to make it go away. The only way to deal with is to speak out. If one feels that he/she is being dragged into the clutches of depression or is having any psychological problems and feels as if no one would understand his/her feelings, he/she can always go for counseling offered by the experts at FADES. There’s no point in suffering by oneself. Yes, not many would find people who would listen to them without judging and jumping to conclusions but FADES have kept their motto alive where they are ready to listen and offer advices without judging.
Shilpa Pitroda,with her organization, FADES is ready to hear a person and take care of everything; it could be anything, starting from Depression to Schizophrenia. She says, “You cannot deny if you have something. You have to accept the fact and fight with it. You are no longer alone. Just come forward. Take one step and we will walk to you. Your identity will be kept confidential. We are here for awareness and reducing the final effect of mental unhealthiness, i.e., Suicide.”
It’s time people, if you are a victim of depression or if you are suffering from any other mental illness, please speak out. If you refrain from speaking and let your words build inside you, a day will come when it would be too late to treat it. Prevention is better than cure. It’s my humble request to friends and families, if someone closer to you is suffering from such problems or exhibits such symptoms, please don’t discard them or act as if it will get better if ignored instead listen to them and keep an open mind which would help you to understand what they are going through.
I stand with FADES in their journey towards raising awareness against mental illness and working towards the betterment of people suffering from such conditions.
As Shilpa Pitroda says, “Let’s talk. Let’s fight. And, let’s heal.” It begins with us. Helping someone doesn’t take much, patience and understanding is only what it takes. Let’s unite together in their cause of creating a better world where talking about mental illness will never be a taboo again.
‘Be the change you want to see in the world.’
— Mahatma Gandhi
The images used in this article are not my own. All the images have been downloaded from Google. Image credits belongs to their rightful owners.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this article. Thank you for taking out the time to read this article. Feedbacks are always welcome. 😇😊