North-East India’s Youngest YouTuber on Sikkim’s Mental Health Crisis – Deso Barman Interview

4 min read

We have been victims of awkward situations. As a child, the fear of dark mystical characters from the stories you heard from your grandparents, haunted you in the night. Upon reaching school getting bullied by your mates kept you thinking as soon as you reached home. College was sometimes about the fear of not getting job after graduation and thinking about your future that kept you awake and miserable till 3 in the morning. So these boulders that we come across are bound to drop at anyone, as life is not just about warm days and calm sunsets. In fact life is more about unpredictable hurricanes and inevitable sandstorms that actually help us paint the bigger picture.

According to the research published by Indian Journal of Psychology in 2016, A 10-year retrospective study of suicide in Sikkim, India: Socio-demographic profile and risk assessment , it was found that out of 1604 suicide cases recorded for the past 10 years, 1051 were males (65.5%) and 553 (34.5%) were females.

Deso Barman- 16 years old

We must realise the fact that the pursuit to our personal happiness lies not in the opinions of someone else but within ourselves. Sometimes we think about our preferences. The kind of jokes that we prefer, the conversations with someone that felt weird, or maybe a comment passed on you by someone and this leads you sometimes to a constant loop of over thinking about the situation that spoils the taste of everything. What we don’t realise is that it is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognise, accept, and celebrate those differences.  

So in this interview article we have Deso Barman, the youngest YouTuber from the northeast, answer some of the questions regarding Sikkim’s mental health. At just an age of 16, Deso is a feminist, LGBT right activist, depression and sexual harassment survivor and child ambassador for the International Children Film Festival. He has been working hard, studying as well as making videos for his YouTube channel which aims to tackle various social issues, promote tolerance and empathy.

He has around 41 funny and influential videos, having around 1000 subscribers and 40,000 views on his channel. When he was selected for the 19th international Children Film festival India as an official Delegate from the Northeast, he started posting videos online. In the film festival he got the opportunity to learn about cinematography, animation, filming, acting and other various aspects about life.

Deso himself had been the victim of depression in the past. When asked some questions on how he survived it, we found out that he used some strategies that helped him overcome depression and live life much more smoothly. “It was not a cake walk though”, said Deso, as it took him a lot of time to understand himself and to act accordingly.  He believes that everyone is unique and special in their own way. Being bullied for many years made him change. He became bold by working on various things such as his personality, his communication skills and many other things. In the comment section of his YouTube videos, many people accused him of what he was doing. At first he deleted the negative comments that bothered him, but as time passed he stopped bothering about the negative comments that helped him make videos as he wanted.

Here is Deso’s take on Sikkim’s mental health:

How do you think we should eradicate this problem?

“We should be less judgmental about other people’s opinions as they are allowed to have a personal opinion on something and we should not focus on other people’s opinion of you. If we think about what people are going to think about us, then we will never be happy as each of us has a unique journey to undergo and also we will be living according to someone’s expectations if we keep following someone else’s narrative. ”                                                                                      
What message do you have for the Sikkimese youth?

“The youth of Sikkim are growing almost in every field such as education, sports, music, technology and fashion. Peden Ongmu is one such example for the whole Sikkimese youth. She is doing so much to inspire others and also doing great in her own self.”  

“The youth are trying hard to do what they want to do and my message for them is to never give up on the dream they have dreamt. Even after achieving their dream, they should do well for their society. Also never ever fight in front of your children when they are young, you can’t even imagine from what mental pain they will go through when they will see their parents fighting with each other.”

How do you see the northeast youth is the next five years?

“In the North East, the new era has begun where the youth have started to follow what they are good at. Even in the field of Entrepreneurship, the youth of North East are thriving. Such an example is “Redendron”, doing a commendable job by promoting local talents. So a lot of freshly baked talents are to emerge in the coming five years who are going to make the North East proud.” 

What are your future plans?

“I want to see myself as a role model from whom people can be inspired. I am looking forward to work on new initiatives, campaigns and projects. I would also like to work for my LGBT community, because we should stand proud for who we are. From my childhood, I saw domestic violence, alcoholism and so much in my own environment so I want to tackle these problems. Lastly I would like to help those who are suffering and dealing from depression, suicidal thoughts, anxiety or any other kind of mental disorder.”

Deso has been working hard to make his dreams come true and he is a fine example of someone who adapted himself in the face of neurosis to overcome his mental burdens. He hopes to be a voice from the north-east to try and address the problem of mental illness in the youth and looks forward to a brighter future as he keeps spreading awareness and ways to cope with psychological problems.

We here at Redendron too hope you get well soon if you’re dealing with problems lately, and would like to ask you to share it with someone you trust and also, to share this article to someone who you think needs to read it. There is help for everyone, the one who needs help must seek it. As Professor Dumbledore once said, “Help will be given to those who ask for it”.

Of course, later he rephrases it. But the point..

Having a problem in one’s psyche is not wrong and doesn’t have to be considered shameful. Reach out and live life to the fullest. And if someone reaches out to you, do the best you can to help them. Make them believe that time passes and with it comes better things. Life is bigger than what they suppose it to be and their temporarily narrowed scope of reality, the haze will fade.

Give them a big hug. Give them some love and they will start loving life.

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