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Depression is a common, curable illness

Depression is not a sign of personal weakness but an illness that can be cured through medical treatment like any other ailment. It has become common because of today’s stressful living. It is an unhealthy state of the mind. There is no definite cause for depression. People who suffer from depression often have a distorted perception of their experiences.

Depression affects us not just at the level of our emotions, but impacts our thoughts and actions as well. It affects our ability to eat, sleep, work, think and relate. It shatters our self-esteem and the mundane day-to-day tasks appear gargantuan. Feeling of helplessness, hopelessness, worthlessness and guilt takes over. Low self-esteem is common with depression. It is also common to have sudden bursts of anger and a lack of pleasure from activities that normally would make you happy.

Depression is actually described as a mood disorder in which feelings of sadness, loss, anger or frustration interfere with everyday life for a longer period of time.

Healthy lifestyle habits can help prevent depression and reduce the chances of is coming back. Talking to family and friends helps to recognise the symptoms and helps in seeking medical aid. The writer has rightly concluded in the article ‘Hope beyond dead end’ (January 12) that depression is a silent epidemic against which there is no immunisation. It can affect anyone, any time. It is an illness that can be treated, and no one deserves to be deprived of a happy and healthy life because of it.



The writer has made an effort to create an awareness about depression, its causes (stress being the triggering factor) and treatment, and has suggested societal response to deal with the patients suffering from it. The situation demands a pro-active response to the challenge by the health authorities, political leadership and aware sections of the society. Depression in children, youth and people in high offices deserves priority and an appropriate response by those who can do their bit to mitigate their depression in any form. It needs to be understood that Indian society has in-built factors which cause depression of various kinds and magnitude in individuals and groups. Here comes the role of all sections of society. 

Don’t do to others what you don’t want to be done to you, is the common minimum any well-meaning person can do to help the silent sufferers.


Voter turnout

In the past few years, voter turnout has been decreasing, which is mainly due to our indifferent attitude towards social responsibilities. Low turnout is undesirable in a democracy and this surely affects the right choice. Many factors affect voter turnout like economic, demographic, cultural, technological and institutional.

Awareness, education and motivation are the most important steps to increase voter turnout. This can be done by holding campaigns with target groups being the youth, the lower and upper middle class. Children should be educated in schools and colleges about the importance of voting as they are the most important vector of change. Television and FM radio can be used to air thought-provoking messages.

Voting should be made compulsory and people should be assured about the flawlessness of the voting system.


Moderate fashion

This is in reference to the write-up ‘Unclothe Prejudices’ (January 14). It is correct to say that it is not the manner the women cover themselves but it is human psychology and a sick mentality which leads to incidents of rape and molestation.

Had the manner of clothing been responsible for rape, the poor and rag-pickers would not have been raped. Moderate fashion is necessary to break the monotony of living. However, extreme fashion by women today is just to display their physical features and to attract attention.

The clothes are meant to cover the body and to protect it from heat and cold. Excess of anything is bad. Decency should be the hallmark of clothing. A good dressing sense displays the sense of decency and decorum. Dress code creates a sense of discipline and manners.

Gender equations will not change merely by women entering into men’s domain, but with education and a refined mental make of even the most enlightened societies. Making clothing merely an academic and intellectual discussion will not solve the problem, it is a larger issue and needs to be taken up in a proper perspective. Attire must be according to the needs of society and culture.

PURAN SINGH, Chandigarh

Political illwill

Millions of Indians share Kuldip Nayyar’s anxiety over the fate of the anti-corruption movement started by Anna Hazare. He has rightly concluded that none of the political parties want an effective Jan Lokpal in place. The reason is not far to see because the day such a functionary is appointed, nearly one third of the MPs will face action. Putting CBI under the Lokpal is the surest way to achieve some success in fighting corruption.

The big question is: Will the MPs vote for their own exit from the Parliament? It appears that the people of India will have to exert immense pressure on their representatives who have come to believe that democracy is the government of the MPs, for the MPs and by the MPs, and not the government of the people, for the people and by the people.

Dr LR SHARMA, Jalandhar

Parents’ dilemma

The middle ‘A daughter’s dilemma’ has propounded very rightly that dowry system has brought about inequality in society. Social reformers sacrificed their lives to bring about a change, and here we are getting back to the ills of society yet again.

But if we delve deep to identify the root cause of this evil, we find that it is we who fancy to be a part of the circle richer than us. We try to follow them blindly.

It is not a daughter’s dilemma but that of the parents who wish to maintain their make-believe position in society. Rather, daughters never demand if their parents cannot afford.

USHA TANEJA, Fatehabad



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