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As we get older the feeling of celebrating our birthday fades out

Birthdays are generally associated with celebrations, cake, being spoiled, and all the positive energy. But it's not the case with everyone. Some people tend to feel more upset, stressed, anxious and low on their birthdays as compared to other days. This phenomenon is called birthday depression and it is more common than one would expect it to be.

Birthday depression, or the birthday blues, refers to feeling sad, apathetic, or disinterested in celebrating or thinking about one self's birthday. In addition to experiencing sadness, birthday depression can also include a sense of low energy or focusing on the past, including everything that one may or may not have accomplished so far. These feelings may arise in the days leading up to a person's birthday, on an actual day, and for some time after as well.

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But what causes birthday depression? There are multiple reasons why one's negative emotions tend to overwhelm the celebration that comes with birthdays. During our formative years, birthdays are meant to be a time of celebration. But as we get older that feeling fades out. Many of us don't care too much about birthdays anymore. And some of us begin to feel serious sadness when that same day comes around each year. While no person is the same as another but some of the general factors that one feels the birthday blues are as follows:


Birthdays remind us that we're getting older, and time is running out of our hands. When we're young we don't think about our mortality but as we get older we become more aware of the limited life we have. The thoughts about ageing and our mortality only become natural and more gaping on our birthdays.

Person's 41st birthday As we get older we become more aware of the limited life we have. Pixabay

High Expectations, Fewer well-wishers

Some of us have particularly high expectations for our birthday each year. We expect to have a huge party, celebration, be showered with gifts that we have dreamed of, which is not always the case. In our later life, we encounter people who are very busy in their own life, "fake friends" people who don't care about us enough to rally around on our birthday. As an adult, we get less attention and enthusiasm for our birthday. Thus we get the birthday blues as we have no one to celebrate it with.

Lack of achievements

As one reaches adulthood, there is pressure from society that one must hit certain milestones at a certain age. From marriage, a house, a family, and financial stability, these are all things that one "should" obtain by a certain age. But not all of us have a smooth path or the same pace in life. So, the unmet goals from the previous year are a common cause of birthday depression. Feeling we are not where we ought to be in life can be hard to cope with on a birthday.

Family Dynamics

Not all of us have a reliable family, it becomes difficult because we can choose our friends but we can't choose our families. In such cases, our family becomes our very first social setting eventually the source of tension, stress, and depression. This usually gets highlighted during a birthday. For those who may have absentee, abusive, or toxic family members, birthdays may not be an exciting time to share (or not share) with family.

ALSO READ: Depression Is Preventable: Research

Dr Ernesto Lira de la Rosa, PhD, a licensed clinical psychologist and member of the media advisory group at the Hope for Depression Research Foundation says "Our diagnostic manual (DSM-5) does not recognize birthday depression as a mental health disorder," However, he notes that this does not mean that individuals don't experience depression or sadness during a birthday.

So how does one cope with birthday depression? Remember it's okay to feel sad even if it is your birthday. We need to get rid of the mindset that "we're supposed to be happy on our birthday". Keep your expectations realistic for your birthday, take charge and be responsible for your happiness. Instead of dreading over what you've failed to accomplish take your birthday as an opportunity to think about all the things you've learned and what's the deeper meaning of life.

Even though some claim that feeling sad on a birthday is just a myth researchers say feeling depressed in the run-up to your birthday is common. There is no guidebook to tell you how you are supposed to feel. You can celebrate your birthday the way you want and you can feel however you want. Sadness can be tough to combat but remember that your birthday can be anything you want it to be.

Keywords: Birthday, depression, ageing, toxic family, societal pressure, coping.


Wikimedia Commons

"Malgudi is where we all belong, and where we wish we lived."

Malgudi, a small fictional town in South India has been part of the childhood of most Indians. It is an old, shabby, and peaceful town that is unruffled by politics. The stories set in this small town ring the sense of belongingness in the hearts of its readers. The familiar feeling that feels like home resonates with their soul. And teaches important life lessons to the readers through simple tales. Malgudi Days is one of the books that every Indian child should read. The book is a compilation of 32 short stories that paint a beautiful picture of small-town in India around the '60s and '70s

R. K. Narayan, one of the most well-known and popular writers within India and outside India is the creator of this town and the occurrences of this town. The stories follow the characters Swami and his friends through their everyday lives. Be it the story of fake astrologers who scam and loot the people by his cleverness, or the story of a blind beggar and his dog where the money blinded the man with greed; each story has a lesson to learn, morals and values hidden in it. As the stories are simple, easy to understand yet heart-touching it makes it easy for the kids to connect with each character and imagine the story as if the reader themselves were the protagonist of the story. In simple words, we can say that R.K. Narayan simply told stories of ordinary people trying to live their simple lives in a changing world.

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Hugs, caress scenes, extramarital affairs, vulgar and bold dressing, bed scenes and intimacy of married couples are being glamourised in utter disregard to Islamic teachings and culture of Pakistani society," PEMRA stated

The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has directed Pak TV channels to stop airing what it calls indecency and intimacy in dramas, Samaa TV reported.

A notification issued by the authority states that it has been receiving numerous complaints from viewers who believe that the content being depicted in dramas does not represent the "true picture of Pakistani society".

"PEMRA finally got something right: Intimacy and affection between married couples isn't 'true depiction of Pakistani society and must not be 'glamourized'. Our 'culture' is control, abuse, and violence, which we must jealously guard against the imposition of such alien values," said Reema Omer, Legal Advisor, South Asia, International Commission of Jurists.

"Hugs, caress scenes, extramarital affairs, vulgar and bold dressing, bed scenes and intimacy of married couples are being glamourized in utter disregard to Islamic teachings and culture of Pakistani society," PEMRA stated, as per the report.

The authority added that it has directed channels time and again to review content with "indecent dressing, controversial and objectionable plots, bed scenes and unnecessary detailing of events".

Most complaints received by the PEMRA Call Centre during September concern drama serial "Juda Huay Kuch is Tarah", which created quite a storm on social media for showing an unwitting married couple as foster siblings in a teaser for an upcoming episode. However, it only turned out to be a family scheme after the full episode aired, but by that time criticism had mounted on HUM TV for using the themes of incest to drive the plot, the report said. (IANS/JB)

Keywords: Pakistan, Islam, Serials, Dramas, Culture, Teachings.