A day – A poem on depression
The night breaks into dawn
But to my face it brings no joy.
my eyes have grown blind to sunshine
my ears deaf to the music of birds,
the world seems like ashen corpse, lifeless to eternity:
Too familiar a feeling …, that of tears
I let them loose on my strained cheek
my fingers too numb to wipe them off;
it may be spring out there, but this bitter winter
like none other refuse to cease,
No hearth of love would melt this frozen truth
So deep, so deep within, no scream from my lips would be heard
Yet I do wish my I could smile for reasons that are not really mine
But to please those kind souls who try to cheer me up
For they say “don’t be sad”
I’ve never told them, but I wish I could be sad
For the ‘sad’ they speak of, is something to feel
And something is better than nothing at all
Sinking deeper each passing day
endless weeds of thoughts strangle me;
sometimes through the struggle
-my ears hearken to the swan song,
Perhaps, I must let myself drown….
But then I fight again, I fight my best to stay…..
for I do care, despite my pain
– Written by Divya Padmakumar
About the poem “a day”
The poem “a day” is a fictional account about the probable experience of depression as felt by a person suffering from it. The poem describes the experience through nature; a day, a morning, in the life of that person. It does not attempt to describe all the symptoms from a medical perspective, it is more about the subjective experience of the individual and the perception of depression by the society.
Part 1- describes the loss of interest and pleasure (also numbness & emptiness)
Part 2- about the negative emotions, low hope, chronicity of sadness & crying and numbness
Part 3- depicts the perception based on the question “why a person has depression when they have everything, they are rich, young, pretty, they have friends and family”; indeed the person suffers despite having “everything” as this is a mental health condition. (also depicts the suffering and desperation)
Part 4- describes the common notion that ‘depression is sadness’ and based on this people, though well-meaning, tries to “advise” the individual “to be grateful, to be happy”. While many of those who experience depression tend to describe it as “feeling empty than sad” (sadness does exist to some extend). Also depicts how the person attempt to please others and fit in.
part 5- describes how the myriad of thoughts affect the individual, the condition deteriorates, thoughts of suicide.
Last line – about resilience and the struggle to survive (does not imply that those who are suffering further deeply or those who died by suicide, are weak or selfish).
Depression is much more than this and the experience may be different for each person. Friends and family members should not assume that it is an excuse or laziness or just feeling sad. Please do love, support, and help your dear ones get professional help. Mental Health Matters.
Depression is a mental health condition, mood disorder characterised by depressed mood and loss of interest or pleasure. It includes:
depressed mood (sad, empty, hopeless etc) most of the day, nearly every day;
diminished interest or pleasure in nearly all activities;
fatigue and loss of energy;
significant loss of weight and reduced appetite (or in some cases increase in both);
insomnia or hypersomnia (sleeping for long);
restlessness or being slow;
feelings of worthlessness or excess guilt;
diminished ability to concentrate and indecisiveness;
recurrent thoughts of death, suicidal ideation, or attempt;
and impaired social and occupational functioning.
Most of this, most of the day, nearly every day. Five or more symptoms, within a 2-week period.
Poems centre around the theme of mental health, stigma towards mental health issues, misconceptions that exist in the society with regard to mental health. #mentalhealthmatters
The poems may be inspired by experiences shared by those who are surviving mental health conditions, content in books, quotes and so on.
Divya Padmakumar is a M.Sc. Psychology second year student. She is a student of Rajagiri College of Social Sciences, Kochi. She likes to write poems related to mental health and is passionate about the same. ‘A Day’ is one of her recent poems.
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