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Mainstream, VOL LIX No 14, New Delhi, March 20, 2021

How I Defeated Depression | Ranbir Singh

Friday 19 March 2021

by Ranbir Singh*

Family problems created by my drawbacks and alcohol withdrawal syndrome had pushed me into depression in 1993. It got aggravated due to professional problems that I had to face at that point of time. So much so that it had become rather difficult to perform my duties as a teacher and as the Chairman of my Department in Kurukshetra University. However, I was able to get rid of its clutches within a span of three months by sharing my problems with a few persons in whom I had confidence without bothering about the fact that they would disclose these to others. Moreover, I did not hesitate in getting the help of my family doctor and also started taking medicines prescribed by him. But the most helpful in getting rid of this problem was the problem created by one of my visually challenged student, Jag Ram, who has placed before me a draft of his M. Phil dissertation that he had prepared without my guidance with the help of the librarian at SD College, Ambala Cantt. (Haryana) for getting my certificate as supervisor to testify that it was his work and was also fit for submission as the partial requirement for the award of M.Phil degree.

Since I was not satisfied and the student was not prepared to make the needed changes in his draft, I sought the help of another student, Kushal Pal, who at that point was working for his M. Phil dissertation under the supervision of a colleague of mine. Total concentration on making improvements in the M. Phil dissertation of Jage Ram helped me in getting rid of depression to a considerable extent. But it was the guidance that I had provided to Kushal Pal that fully cured me. And, I was able to prevent the recurrence of depression by completely immersing myself in preparing my literatures, writing research papers in the Research Journals and in guiding my Ph.D. Research Scholars and M. Phil students.

Besides, I made it a mission of my life to help others in overcoming depression as a penance for my failure to rescue my mother when she had been suffering from acute depression in 1965. Instead of taking her psychiatrist, I decided to join my duty as a lecturer in Political Science at Government College Hoshiarpur (Punjab) on account of my infatuation for a girl student. The poor thing had committed suicide and left me with a lifelong guilt complex.

Above all I began to love and respect myself the most by recognizing my plus points instead of bothering about the deficiencies in my personality. This enabled me in keeping depression at a bay and also helped my professional growth. I served as a Professor and Chairman in the Department of Political Science, Dean Social Sciences and Dean Academic Affairs in Kurukshetra University before my retirement in January 31, 2000. I remains academically active at the age of 50 plus despite a heart patient since 2003. I would give the entire credit for all these to the strategy that I had to adopt for combating depression in 1993.

* Senior Fellow, Institute of Social Sciences, New Delhi.

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