I did a self-study. I did it personally because I didn’t want to rely on anyone for the results. It took me 12 years of work. Good research takes time. I stepped in the life of individuals and inquired after being intimate with them. I never revealed them the reason for my inquiry. I performed my research on 2358 individuals. I made friendly and intimate relationship with each one I interviewed. This was something new I was doing. Actually, I felt that until and unless you have gained complete confidence of an individual you cannot rely on the statements made by that person. I mean to say, if I am a stranger and I ask someone “Did you ever suffered from depression?” The person might reply, “No, never, I have always been fortunate”. I have another question for you sir, “Did you ever plan for suicide. I will not reveal your identity to anyone. This is a study.” “What nonsense, I am the only child of my parents. I have always been lucky go”. “Thank you sir. Will you be interested in the results of this study”? “Yes, of course, it seems to be a very good research. And people must be giving their honest replies.” Results of research done without taking people into confidence, and building sound relations contradict each other. Why will a person write the truth or tell the facts? Especially when things are personal. Why should we believe that the person spoke the truth? And if the person did lie then to what degree and extent? Who knows? But then who can know because we do not have a better approach to research studies.
People lie and they prefer to do so especially when something very personal is inquired. And why should they trust there is no absolute way to hide the identity. If you ask them to write, handwriting can tell about the person. If you send them an email then their recognition in some way can be revealed. True, the identity is not revealed to the world around. But people might not want to reveal it to the researchers as well. “Why should I tell him?” might be the reply.
I therefore thought of finding a way out. I developed intimate relationship with people. I did this not with the ones whom I know were depressed or who said that they were. I made an intimate relationship with those who were considered fortunate by everyone. Those who both publicly and personally proclaimed to be fortunate. I took people above the age of 25 years for this study. And what I discovered was surprising.
All the 2358 men and women who would seem to be very fortunate in their life had experienced severe depression and around 89% of them had not taken any treatment for it. Around 23% also had suicidal tendencies. My question remains “Who never had depression?” Do you know someone really intimate to you who never had depression? My research is still ongoing. Your experience might add to my knowledge.