I have a friend who has a funny bone and I love going out with him whenever I am stressed a bit as he can make me laugh a lot. Am sure that each person has had these kinds of go-to persons in their lives. Do you love comedy movies and comedians? I know there won’t be any objections. Everyone loves to be entertained and all of us love the people who make this possible.

Last week I saw an article that read, “funny people kill themselves”. It really shocked me. The article was about Robin William (1951-2014) who committed suicide recently. The reason was severe long-term depression and drug addiction. He is a legend who worked as a character actor, comedian, and writer. American president responds to his suicide as, “He made us laugh, he made us cry.” If you search History then you can find many people who have committed suicide because of depression, anxiety, and drug abuse. Some of them are Doodles Weaver (1911-1983), Freddie Prinze (1954-1977), Richard Jeni (1957-2007), Philip Seymour Hoffman, Silk Smitha, Jiah Khan and the list goes on…

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While all this is really depressive, it is something that can be addressed. Past life experiences, lifestyle, drug abuse, stress, anxiety in the present day life are some of the main reasons for depression.

Depression in India

There is a report on the burden of disease -prevalence of unipolar depressive episodes to be 1.9% for men and 3.2% for women, and the one-year prevalence has been estimated to be 5.8% for men and 9.5% for women. It is estimated that by the year 2020 if current trends for demographic and epidemiological transition continue, the burden of depression will increase to 5.7% of the total burden of disease and it would be the second leading cause of disability-adjusted life years, second only to ischemic heart disease.

According to reports, 50% employees in India Inc are under stress: 30% have problems such as addictions and marital discord, 20% suffer from depression.

Depression is the No 1 occupational disease of the 21st century says WHO. 49% of people under stress say they suffer from upset stomach or nausea. 71% people under stress feel they are not productive and cry regularly.

Over 50% of the World’s children are brought up in stressful conditions, says UNESCO. 1 in every 20 IT professionals contemplates suicide, says NIMHANS study.

Govt spends $3 billion per year on stress-related issues such as compensation claims, medical expenses, and reduced productivity.

Chronic depression in addition to Alcohol or an addiction to cocaine sometimes leads to suicidal thoughts/ ideation, and action.

Prevention strategies: Counseling, behavioral therapies, doing yoga and pranayama, Laughing helps ease stress and depression, also working on a rowing machine or 15 minutes of cycling.

Depression leading to Suicides:

Depression and alcohol use and abuse are the most common risk factors for suicide. Alcohol and substance abuse problems contribute to suicidal behavior in several ways. Persons who are dependent on substances often have a number of other risk factors for suicide. In addition to being depressed, they are also likely to have social and financial problems. Substance use and abuse can be common among persons prone to be impulsive, and among persons who engage in many types of high-risk behaviors that result in self-harm. Fortunately, there are a number of effective prevention efforts that reduce the risk for substance abuse in youth, and there are effective treatments for alcohol and substance use problems.

Firearms are the most commonly used method of suicide for men and women i.e., 60 %. The second most common method for men is hanging; for women, the method is self-poisoning including drug overdose.

How can prevent these suicides?

Smell and colors can control people stress and emotions.

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As we know, “prevention is better than cure”. You can avoid having depression amongst your family members through simple techniques. Make sure that your children are more connected with nature. Find time to spend with them in outdoor and nature-related games. It will make them more comfortable and less depression-oriented. Giving a platform for allowing your children to explore things for themselves and to give them space for making mistakes, to learn from them is the best thing you can do as a parent.  Normally the people, who fall into depression related disorders are very sensible, have some ego, silent, more dependent and have poor self-esteem. Horticultural therapy really helps people to overcome these. Working in the garden and engaging in garden related activities would make them more confident people. Regular engagement in garden maintenance and cultivation improves their social, cognitive and vocational skills.

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“Connecting with nature will enhance the quality of mind and soul” Horticultural Therapy can help fight Depression.

Horticultural Therapy Healing Centre is conducting workshops on ‘how you can deal with depression’, and their latest workshop will be on April 15, 2017, for autism. For more details please call Karthik- +918762679127 or send a mail to karthik@artyplantz.com