One of my students would sit still, silent and alone in the class, not taking interest in the lectures. He would always remain detached and was mostly absent. In order to figure out her matter, I began talking with her, and it turned out that she was suffering from insomnia and anorexia; the symptoms indicated that she was suffering from depression. It is important to realize that when everything seems gloomy, your whole being feels listless and this phase lasts for more than two weeks; you are suffering from clinical or major depression. The reasons could be biological, psychological or environmental. Contrary to common misconception, it is important to know that, that all types of people can and do suffer from depression This should not be dismissed at all, and should be taken very seriously. It calls for responsive help through immediate action. It has been noted that university students find themselves plunged into the dark spiral of depression due to number of reasons; from being emotionally detached to not having friends to making a wrong decision in some part of their lives, and for that very matter facing negative consequences including, flunking an exam, creating conflict with a parent or the end of a love relationship. The list goes on. It also doesn’t matter if you are a celebrity, what age you are in, gender type, etc. Even Deepika Padukone, the beloved Bollywood movie star, was attacked by depression when she was at the peak of her career. Robin Williams, who will always be remembered for making others laugh, also suffered from clinical depression that led him to suicide. The good news is that it is treatable. The best advice I can give you is simple: just don’t be isolated. A person who gets depressed tells themselves that he or she has become used to being in the gloomy state — almost treating it as an enjoyable experience — and it becomes a comfort zone for him or her. Anybody who comes and tries to cheer him or her up is given the shut up call. The depressed person keeps existing in the gloominess of his thoughts and continues spiralling down into the hell of depression. It reaches to a point where the self, environment and future seem to start falling apart. One becomes hopeless about all facets of life. When someone is depressed, both body and mind work slowly and lethargically. Going to the gym and moving the body, stimulating the brain to produce happy endorphins, can help break the cycle To treat depression, first and foremost you must establish a meaningful purpose in life. And in times of adversity, stand firm; this leads to the development of a positive attitude for beating the blues. Secondly, do the things that you love doing. Strolling in the park, playing sports with your friends, reading books and watching movies help in killing depression. The purpose is to remain busy, but with purposeful and inspired activities. Then as it is said that no man is an island, support from your social circle can give you the best feeling in the world. Talking to them about your problems, hanging out with them, getting engaged in worthy activities with them can give you a nourishing feeling. Keep rejuvenating your senses from time to time. Listen to music. Indulge in a nice warm bath in winters and a shower of cold water in summers. Go for a full body massage. Take a break from your hectic life and you cannot go wrong with even spending the full day doing nothing much. Get some sunshine. Walk bare-footed on the grass at the time of dawn. Take in healthy food, always. See a therapist once in a while, where you can just speak without hesitation and get away from your inner debilitating voices and learn the way to quiet them. Sometimes, just doing catharsis can move us far beyond the reaches of depression. When someone is depressed, both body and mind work slowly and lethargically. To break the cycle, one should head to the gym and move their body, stimulating the brain to produce happy hormones. Make it a lifestyle choice rather than a chore. Most of the time, a person suffering from depression would not want to see a therapist, possibly due to denial or the fear of associating with culturally perceived negative labels and connotations. This situation requires help from immediate family and friends. Universities also have the huge burden on their shoulders in providing help to students. Certified counselors should be placed in educational institutes to deal with depression and it should be made compulsory for students to see a psychologist or counselor every once in a while. We must remove the stigma on mental health at the grassroots level and encourage a culture of awareness and care. Mostly people in depression get the feeling that it only affects them and nobody else. Well, as we all are connected in one way or the other, it is just impossible to contain the negative vibes to affect only oneself. After all, depression is related to our moods and any negative mood can disrupt interactions, both personal and professional, hence affecting others in your environment and potentially having a long-term influence on relationships. Even if you can safely say that it does not affect anyone else but you, you were not born to spend your life in such misery. Make sure to remember, life is for living. The writer is consultant psychologist, ahmed_Bilal01 Published in Daily Times, April 1st 2018.