Everybody has had days where they’ve felt a little ‘blue’, but when it goes a little further than just being ‘down in the dumps’, things start becoming a little more serious.
I myself suffered from depression (past tense, not anymore) and I know how tough it can be, with the feeling of emptiness in your life, feeling like your not going anywhere with anything permeates your seemingly shattered life. It is hard, but you can turn it around, you just need to want to do it.
In teenagers, depression rates on average at the moment are around 4 in every 100, and with adults, that rate is higher again. Depression is almost used as a buzz word or excuse these days for a sudden downturn in mood, loss of productivity at work, or if your social life has recently taken a hit. But, what exactly is depression, what are the signs and how can you deal with it?
What is depression?
Depression is a mental state of mood categorized by a vast amounts of different feelings such as sadness, despair, discouragement, anger, lonliness and frustration. Depression can range from normal every days feelings of simply being down through to more major forms of depression or eventual manic depression in its more serious form. Low self esteem, grief, mourning, guilt, withdrawl are all feelings (that i’ve experienced in my time with depression anyway).
Signs that you are depressed:
You are clinically depressed if you show the following signs of depression (in any form):
- You feel sad or cry a lot and it doesn’t go away.
- You feel guilty for no real reason.
- You feel like you’re no good. Life seems meaningless.
- You don’t feel like doing the things you used to.
- It’s hard to make up your mind.
- You forget lots of things, and it’s hard to concentrate.
- Little things make you lose your temper. You overreact.
- You start sleeping a lot more, or you have trouble falling asleep at night. Or you wake up really early most mornings and can’t get back to sleep.
- Your eating pattern changes. You’ve lost your appetite or you eat a lot more.
- You feel restless or tired most of the time.
- You think about death, or have thoughts about committing suicide.
This information is freely avaliable from many depression and mental health organisations and clinics. I am by no means a doctor or psychologist, but these obviously do make sense.
How can you deal with it, or how can you help a friend who is depressed?
I know when i was depressed, it was a tough time in my life. I exibited many of the above characteristics and feelings such as loss of apetite, hard to make up my mind, loss of temper and overreaction and feeling sad without those feelings going away. I knew i had to get on top of it, and after a while, I found a select few (1-2, very few) people closest to me who are great friends of mine and simply talking things over with them really helped me out alot. When you are feeling depressed, just letting your feelings bottle up inside just made me feel worse, and talking a few things over with your closest friends does really help.
I know / have known a few people who are going through similar things, and I know people right now who are feeling depressed. It is hard to try and help somebody who is depressed, dealing with huge amounts of negativity is always tough, but for that person who is dealing with a tough time, they may not show it, but you being there for them is something that they truely do appreciate and hold dear.
If you or a friend is depressed and is quite serious (or no matter the level of depression) the best thing to do is for you/them to see a trained professional. A doctor or psychiatrist can help you through things and possibly prescribe medications that can help with the physical aspects of depression and get you on a schedule to your road to recovery.
There is no quick fix to recover from depression, but the people closest to you are there to help, and you should use them to springboard your feelings off onto.
To my friend dealing with depression right now, hang in there, things will get better soon.