By Kavya Janani
I am going to touch upon a topic that is often neglected. This widespread yet underrated phenomenon is called depression. Yes, people rarely speak about it, for the fear of being judged. But let me tell you one thing. You are not alone in this world. There is an infinite number of people suffering from depression. If you open up about it, you can save lives. You can either save yourself or someone around you. Here are some things we don’t emphasize nearly enough in today’s society.
Depression is not something to be kept under wraps.
If you think you suffer from depression, talk about it to someone you trust – someone who would never be judgmental about it, someone who would consider this as a serious mental illness. If you find someone suffering from depression, turn as the source of comfort for them. Help them in any way you can. Depression is not just another phase, like most people tell you. It’s not a phase of sadness that can be overcome by pretending to be happy and surrounding yourself with positivity.
Depression is a DISEASE.
Never ever consider that it’s a passing phase of your life. Depression is a treatable yet a lethal disease that can cost your life, if not confronted at the right time. And also, don’t associate depression with sadness. Of course, people with depression feel sad most of the time. But there’s another dimension to it. Even a perfectly happy person can have depression. Even if you have jubilant things going on around you, you can suffer from depression.
Hence, it doesn’t have anything to do with your emotional state. It’s a goddamn disease that affects your mind and changes the course of your life. The most apt meaning of depression is major depressive disorder. The phrase itself screams that it is a disorder. And that’s why you have different types of depression – clinical depression, postpartum depression, seasonal depression, psychotic depression, and atypical depression. Everything has a remedy of its own.
There is a difference between depression and feeling depressed.
Feeling depressed is different from having depression. You can feel depressed, if a loved one passes away or if you fail in your exams or if you have a bad day at work. These feelings of dejection can be overcome by surrounding yourself with positive people, taking a trip or vacation, taking up a new hobby, listening to good music, and feeling good about yourself. But, depression cultivates in your mind over time. It’s not a blink-and-miss stage where you can be comforted with tubs of ice-cream and melody songs. It creeps in slowly, stays as long as it can make you feel utterly miserable, and takes away your life when everything seems to be normal.
There are various causes and signs of depression.
There’s no specific cause for depression. Anything can trigger it. It might be an underlying childhood trauma or constant bullying or witnessing something gruesome. It might just be chemical. Depression multiplies over time even without you noticing it. So, how can you realize if a person is suffering from depression? Here are some common symptoms.
- Social detachment
- Excessive weight loss or weight gain
- Constant fatigue
- Mood swings
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Excessive sleeping or insomnia
- Suicidal thoughts
- Losing interest in things that they liked
- Slowing down of activities
- Losing concentration
Some things to do when you realize the depression is there:
If you find the above mentioned symptoms in you or a friend, immediately consult a psychologist or psychiatrist. A psychiatrist can guide you and prescribe medicines or drugs according to the type of depression. A psychologist will counsel you and recommend natural treatments for depression. These treatments include changes in your diet, meditation, and taking in mood-enhancing supplements.
Always remember, you can definitely treat depression, but only if you talk about it. The first step that you must take towards tackling depression is to find someone whom you can trust. If you don’t find anyone to talk to, seek medical help directly.
Fight it out and get your beautiful life back.