Depression affects all of us, at some point in time we become depressed most often due to situations so for some it can be circumstantial, there are many of us who joke about this disorder, claiming that they are depressed because something did not go there way/the way they wanted it to.
Many people don’t know the seriousness or the cause and effects of this disorder, I have depression so I want to make it apparent that this is indeed a very serious mental disorder to which shouldn’t be ignored or taken lightly.
As was stated above, some people take this lightly and will claim they are depressed due to an activity or the day they planned out did not go their way, however that is not depression.
Let me explain to you what depression really is.
What is Depression?
I’m pretty sure you know what depression is.
If you don’t know what depression is, in short depression is a mental disorder characterized by a persistently foul or low mood loss of interest in activities, causing significant impairment in daily life.
What causes depression?
Depression is thought to rise from a combination of genetic, biological or environmental factors, and stressful life events such as illness, major bereavement or a deep and heartfelt break-up of a relationship. Sometimes there is no apparent trigger.
What are the signs?
Signs or symptoms of depression very between individuals over time, however, the most common signs would include persistent low mood; sadness or emotional numbness’; loss of pleasure in everyday activities; irritability; anxiety; poor concentration; feelings guilty or crying for no apparent reason; changes in eating or sleeping patterns; feelings of hopelessness and thoughts of death/suicidal thoughts. If a number of these symptoms have been present for a prolonging period of time, then the person most probably has depression.
So now that you know what depression is in short, what can we do about it, how do we approach this mental disorder, what can we do to understand the person who has depression better, and how can the afflicted tolerate a life with depression.
Allow me to share my own thoughts and personal experiences battling with this mental disorder.
As one who has had depression from the ripe age of 12 onward, life becomes so much more harder and challenging for those who have depression.
No one can really tell the difference difference between those of us who have depression and those that don’t.
In order to identify someone who does have depression, you will have to be openly looking for signs of depression as opposed to just trying to spot the people who has depression amongst the crowd.
It is also important to note as well that some (if not most or all) people who harbour depression tend to be more sensitive and therefore take things to heart more than those without, I know because I am like this.
But did you know there are different types of depression?
Yes, as silly as it sounds there are different types of depression, As a medical practitioner will use simple words to make it easier for you to understand such as: depression, mild depression and severe depression (3 levels).
Depression – yes I know this whole topic is about depression as an entirety, but we’re talking about the first level in this section, this form is the first and very basic form where most medical practitioners will often make it not seem as a big deal and it’s more so a temporary affliction and can be dealt with and forced away with very basic techniques and with time given.
Mild depression – Now this is where medical practitioners will consider prescribing you medication to deal with the disorder, mild depression often means that depression is at the stage where it could potentially be harmful to the brain and psychology of a person’s psyche and overall health.
Severe depression – At this stage, depression has gotten to the point where it affects how you think, your psyche, how you live out your everyday life. Getting in the way of how you live, severe depression has also lead most who have gotten to this point to suicide (I know because i’ve tried).
Medical practitioners will prescribe you medication in order to cope and to attempt to change the chemical fluid in your brain, to increase and balance out all of the vital chemicals that play a major role in how you feel and how you react.
However in my personal experience, all that is needed is involvement, companionship in either family, friends or like-minded people, purpose and exercise, the best cure is a natural one.
How can we help those with depression?
The best thing that you can do for someone who has depression is to make them feel involved.
Involved in what you may ask.
Involved in whatever, whether it be a group activity, at work, playing a game with friends or political arguments or whatever it may be.
As counter intuitive as it may sound, the best thing you can do for those who harbour depression is to not point it out (or at least don’t be the first to point it out, allow them time to open up and to give you their trust to let you know that they do have depression).
There’s nothing good about making someone feel bad about themselves by bringing up that they have a mental disorder and that it must be addressed.
Just be their friend, be there for them and show them that there is a far more happier life that they can have beyond their depression, and this will in turn give them hope and fill their depressed hearts with joy and life.
What can help depression.
- Exercise – Exercise can help extremely for peoples with depression. exercise elevates the mood by releasing endorphins throughout the body as well as keeping both the mind and the body busy, focusing on movement and keeping steady as opposed to just sitting there thinking about what you’ve had to go through in life.
- Involvement/purpose – Being involved in something would make anyone feel better about themselves, as humans we seek to be amongst others of our own kind, we are social creatures and we want to be able to talk to others and be within the company of others, feeling involved in any activity with another person is beneficial to us and our overall health.
- Friendship – Friendship can be one of the best things that you can do for/offer a person who has depression, because as we are humans of a social nature, we crave to socialise and to find at least a companion or two, to have someone to hang out with and who feels like they can care about, it’s one of the best gifts that you can give them.
- Environment – The environment around a person who has depression can greatly affect their mood and their perception at the time. Getting a person who has depression out and about should be one on the top of your list of things to do in order to help the person who has depression.
Depression does not make you any different from anyone else.
Depression is not a disease nor is it a contagious bacteria.
Please don’t make the person who has depression feel any less than what they are or what they’re trying to do to cope with it and to fight it.
Depression is nothing to be ashamed of having, the major cause of depression is due to the inability to let go of something tragic that happened to the person in their past, something so traumatising that it has affected them down to their core.
And again, this is coming from personal experience.
However, most people won’t care if you have depression and most won’t even notice that you’re afflicted with the disorder, because as a society, we are expected to be okay with whatever comes our way, suck it up and push our feelings down in order to complete our everyday activities such as work or relationships.
But depression is a serious matter, it can even lead to suicide if not curbed.
As I stated in the very first paragraph, depression makes living out your life, going about your everyday activity harder than it is for others that are without, however that doesn’t mean that people who have depression can’t do things that people who don’t have depression can.
Depression is more of a mood disorder and deals with emotion, yes it makes constantly makes you think low of potentially yourself as well as the outside world, however this can be dealt with through the points listed under What can help depression.
Depression & Anxiety
Depression & Anxiety often intertwine and if you don’t know that the two are separate conditions, you’ll most probably confuse the two as being one.
In most cases, those who have depression will feel Anxious, and this is very understandable.
Depression often makes you feel down and low in mood, and in turn will make you feel anxious around a crowed of people and in situations that you wouldn’t normally feel comfortable in.
If you know someone who has depression, re-assure them in some way that everything will be okay and that they have nothing to worry about.
There are few things worse than being depressed and feeling anxious in situations that you are required to be in, it sucks! so please be kind to those that do have depression.
So if you know someone who has depression and has been harbouring depression for most if not all their lives, please befriend them, maybe re-assure them that everything will be fine when circumstances seem to heat up.
In most cases when you may not have family or even a friend whom you can talk to when you feel like life is overwhelming, you may call a helpline that is available near you or within your state.
I really hope that this post has helped you in some way, perhaps you can take something away from this post.
Please voice your thoughts in the comment section below if you have any, and as always.
Stay safe everyone.
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