As per WHO, One in four children in the age group of 13-15 years in India suffers from depression. But we are hardly taking any steps to save our kids from this ugly devil.
As parents, we shut our eyes and ignore the mental illness of our kids and let them struggle alone. Sometimes even when we want to help them, our lack of understanding of mental illness cripples us.
Recently, when a Class X student of a New Town school in Kolkata died as she jumped off the terrace of one of the apartment buildings, we felt it is high time for parents to know how depression is slowly killing their kids from inside before it’s too late.
So What Happened?
As per ToI, on Saturday night around 8 pm, 16-year-old Rudrani Chakraborty left her flat “for a walk”. But, even after an hour, when she didn’t come back home, her worried parents started looking for her. And, when they couldn’t find her, they reached the New Town Police station after 9 pm to lodge a missing complaint.
As per ToI, the cops said the girl, who had been suffering from prolonged depression, told her mother that she would be going for a walk. He mentioned:
“It was unusual, as she didn’t used to go for evening walks. While she did not come back after an hour, her parents went to the police station.”
While the parents were still at the police station, a resident of the same housing society called up the police station to report the incident. The cops finally found the girl in a pool of blood in her own housing complex. Though she was rushed to a local hospital, doctors declared her dead.
The news of the death of Chakraborty shocked her classmates as she was seemed lively to them. As many couldn’t believe that she was no more, her classmates mentioned that she never had any trouble with her studies. One of the classmates of Chakraborty who did not want to be identified, shared:
“She was a good student and there was no reason why she should have any nervous attack over her performance in exams.”
On Sunday, the police mentioned that the girl was being treated under a psychologist at a hospital off Eastern Metropolitan Bypass.
And, as there was no trace of misdoings, police suspects that it was the girl’s depression, which prompted her to take the extreme step.
We are at a loss of words for the parents of this 16-year-old, who lost their young child to depression.
We feel there is a dire need to make Indian parents understand the ugly reality of child depression before we lose one more child to depression.
Common Signs and Symptoms of depression include
– Disturbed sleeping patterns – Loss of appetite – Constant feeling of being guilty – Low self-worth – Feeling tired and, lethargic – Agitation or physical restlessness – Substance abuse – Reduced concentration – Suicidal thoughts or acts
We hope this shocking news would wake many parents to shed their inhibitions and start an open dialogue about depression. Only then, we would be in a stronger position to help ourselves and our kids if they experience depression-like symptoms.
So, please next time when your kid complains about any of these symptoms, please don’t tell her/him –
“Subha jaldi utha karo, healthy khana khao, exercise karo. Kaam na karna pade toh isliye yeh naya bhana hai (You should wake up early in the morning, eat healthy food and exercise. You just don’t like to work so this is your new excuse)!”
At I For Her, we urge all parents to understand the challenges that their kids are facing. And urge you not to ignore their mental health as it is as critical as their physical health.