Ok this may sound boring to most of you. I would request you not to read ahead if you are not the person for some boring/sad insight. I just wanted to give an intuition to the ones who has just heard the word but do not have much idea about depression.
Firstly being sad and getting depressed are absolutely two different things. Sadness is just one of the symptoms of depression, but with depression comes with more than just sadness.
Sadness is one among the emotions that you feel momentarily. Ofcourse, there are varying degrees of sadness but it is temporarily and fades with time. For that particular moment the effect could be immense and unbearable, but time heals it and you learn to overcome it. On the other hand, depression is a long term illness that could affect you mentally if not treated otherwise. I would like to stress again that depression is an illness and not an emotion.
There is a wrong notion where people refer to a depressed person as mentally unstable. Reminds me of the same wrong idea where people advice the young not to have too much sugar due to the fear of diabetes. Lol! The depressed person if not treated at the right time, will be mentally affected at a later stage. Depression doesn’t creep in because the person is mentally unstable even though rarely that could be one of the cause depending on the circumstances.
The reason could be anything, a relationship breakup, loss of job, loss of someone very close, sudden loss of wealth, extreme loneliness, abuse etc. I personally think it depends upon each person’s capacity to intake the amount of pain. For instance, a girl/boy will be sad after a breakup. Lots of crying, fatigue, glued to the bed, no hunger is the common symptoms seen on that person. Within time the same person recovers too. On the other hand, I have seen another person affected by the same scenario, but the symptoms are more different. Prolonged silence, loss of sleep and hunger, deteriorating health, tremendous loss of hair, no will to live and finally suicidal tendency. Such person should be given more attention and counseling. Usually the person affected by depression will not realize what they are getting into. This is where the people around them have to work towards helping them. I am sure, every person who have committed suicide due to any reason, would not have done so if they had a close member whom they could talk to and share their emotions.
Professional help is always recommended for depression but I know this is not going to work out every time. People tend to be more secretive and want to keep their lives to themselves rather than going into public with their issues, even though more the sharing, less is your stress. They would automatically get inclined to someone whom they always see to share their issues (if) we give more attention to them.
Tricky is when a person has depression but he manages to smiles and talk on the outside. It’s usually very difficult to find out if they probably have any sort of problem. I have come across a recent episode where a person commits suicide and even their immediate ones knew anything about it. So in such cases it does take a close watch in knowing the person. Just a hello and a smile are not going to help that person. Leave your stuffs and attend that person, talk to them more deeply or personally, ask if they want to share anything. I assure you, they are silently waiting for someone to approach them.
There are many types of depression – Major depression, Melancholia, Psychotic depression, Bipolar disorder, Seasonal affective disorder, Postpartum depression, Situational depression and many more.I do not want to give an explanation on each of it. I really want you guys to read about it.
As a new mom, I too had an experience of the Postpartum baby blues. PPD is usually caused due to hormonal, environmental, emotional and genetic factors that goes way beyond your control. The new mom thingy was too overwhelming to me. I did not feel bonded to the baby and more was likely to doing my work for the baby. I cried without any reason and lack of sleep was evident. Thanx to my friend and my dear sis(a doc btw) helped me through. PPD is a temporary emotion if treated properly will be bygone and now I am the smartest carefree mommy (as my frds say). I love my son more than me.
If you are aware about your depression state, it is always advisable to do the following when you are affected by depression:
Stop thinking extensively
Relax – be it meditation or walking on a park
No alcohol and drugs
Laugh – watch funny videos or be with people who makes you laugh
Schedule your day – make yourself busy that you do not have the time to overthink
Start your hobby – find out what you like and do it
Suicide risks – talk immediately to any close responsible person and share even if you don’t want to.
Now if you know anyone in depression, these are the things you could do to help them:
Most important educate yourself – do not approach the person pointing that he/she is affected by depression….hello!!??
Listen – be patient and show interest in their problem how ever it may sound silly to you.
Have fun together
Be present – always but don’t overdo it
Suicide risk – if they talk about death/after life, take the hint. It’s an indirect way of asking help.
Ignorance is NOT bliss. There are many silent ones in between us waiting for help.