I think it is time to start talking about depression. I have previously written posts on here about mental health and panic attacks. It’s not as often though we see people writing about depression. We hear many people say they are depressed or know someone that is suffering. But do we actually understand depression? I decided to write this post as May is known as Mental Health Awareness month.
What is Depression?
According to the National Institute of Health; Depression is a common but serious mood disorder. It can cause severe symptoms that affect how you feel, think and handle daily activities, such as sleeping, eating or working.
This is quite a basic description but is simple enough to help people understand it a little more. Depression causes people to have feeling of sadness which leads to loss of interest in activities that they once enjoyed. It can be led to a variety of emotional and physical problems. these don’t just affect previously loved activities but also their ability to function at work and home.
The problem with depression, you cannot always see it on other people. There tends to more psychological symptoms than there are physical. People can feel like they are in a continuous low mood and start to feel hopeless and helpless. Their self-esteem becomes very low and they tend to start hating themselves, whether it is about how they look or how they work or complete activities. This person can feel very tearful and just want to cry and not know what they want to cry over. All of this can affect them socially are they have an irritability and intolerance of others.
People usually become unmotivated and lose interest in things. This is when they start cancelling plans with friends or making up excuses when it comes to planning events. Another thing that stops them from going out, they find it hard to make decisions. This can be from something as simple as what they are going to eat or what they are going to wear. All this builds up and prevent them from enjoying life and just start having no enjoyment out of life at all.
The main psychological symptoms that they hide, is suicidal thoughts. This is the most dangerous as they tend to have no control over these thoughts. Suicidal thoughts can come from anything, a small comment somebody makes or even a certain look that they receive.
Physical symptoms can be just as hard to recognise on somebody as they psychological symptoms. These start with slow movements and speaking, this can be difficult to spot when it first appears as many people suffer from this when generally feeling ill or tired. But it tends to become more obvious with the more time you spend with somebody suffering from depression.
Change in appetite and weight is also a biggie. It can be loss of appetite and they suddenly lose a lot of weight in a little amount of time. Or it can be the opposite. They can suddenly get a huge appetite and gain a lot of weight in a short amount of time.
Depression can also lead to unexplained aches and pains. There can be nor Eason for them at all. They can all of a sudden feel aches in any part of the body. The pains tend to be aimed more at the head and the stomach but can also appear anywhere in the body.
It can be more obvious in a partner as their sex drive can change. This usually becomes very low. This can be caused from the psychological symptoms of feeling unmotivated, losing self-esteem and just becoming uninterested in everyday activities that were previously enjoyed.
What can WE do?
I haven’t got a lot of advice of what we can do to prevent depression or stop it because really there isn’t much. Everybody suffers differently and everybody will be different when it comes to helping them. But if this post can help somebody realise that they themselves may be suffering or to help diagnose a friend or family member them I am happy. It’s not an easy thing to go through and nobody should be going through it alone. So find help if you suffer or be there for somebody who is suffering.
The best thing you can do for a loved one who is suffering is to be patient. Don’t give up on them because they have cancelled on you a couple of times. There could be a good reason as to why they have cancelled or it is just their mind giving them a number of different reasons on why they should not be going out.
If you have any tips on how to help somebody suffering them please comment below and help share those tips and ideas.