A Layman’s Guide To Understanding Depression
There are scores of articles that talk about the bad effects of depression and a hundred people around you who will complain of being depressed at some level. The word ‘depression’ has been overused almost all the time.
Not everyone, however, understands depression in its entirety.
It is a given that a human being goes through a plethora of emotions ranging from happiness to sadness and its intermediary emotions pretty much, on a daily basis.
While on some days, they may undergo all these emotions at varying levels of depth, some people get buried into these feeling much deeper than the others.
What is more toxic for these individuals is that they are haunted more and more, deeper and deeper, incessantly by the negative emotions strongly. The full force of the negativity is so wild that they are always almost surrounded by sadness, despair and hatred. They invariably build a fort around themselves directing all the negative energy internally hence making them sadder and more filled with despair than they already are. Please also understand that while they may be battling wild, cancelling, traumatic thoughts internally, they possibly are joyfully living it up on the outside. Or so it may seem to someone if the person suffering is putting up a façade like that.
That, my friends, is Depression!
I agree that I may have painted a rather bleak picture of the same but if I were to describe Depression to someone who refuses to understand the enormity of this condition, this is how I would do it. And this is me NOT being hyperbolic.
Depression is not a whim of anyone’s imagination. It is as real as an illness can get. Living through the day with depression can be very taxing for the person who is suffering from it and eventually the dark pit of hopelessness eats them alive.
What is Depression to a layman? Depression is the mental condition where the affected feels negative emotions more strongly than ever. The feeling of impending doom and being constantly lifeless and sad can be strongly co-related to being depressed. Some people, especially men, even channel their depression to anger and violence.
It is very important to not confuse depression with sadness that you may feel during the course of your day. While sadness you feel on a particular day could be related to an incident you experienced in the recent past, depression is the feeling of gloom and hopelessness that hits you and stays with you no matter whatever happens to you throughout the day.
Differentiating depression from the everyday bouts of sadness bouts can be rather difficult. We see a lot of young adults today being hyperbolic and exclaiming every other day that their life is so depressing.
But to understand and identifying a person who is actually dealing with depression is much trickier than that. There are, however, some markers that can help you identify depression. Being your own friend and caregiver, you need to look for these signs.
1. Constant feeling of hopelessness and sadness
2. More short-tempered and aggressive than usual
3. Changes in appetite and food habits
4. Disturbed sleeping patterns : Insomnia or Over-sleeping
5. Tired all the time and unwilling to go about the routine
6. Constant inflow of negative thoughts and ideas
7. Addiction to vices, like smoking and excessive drinking
8. Lack of concentration on daily routine
9. Reckless behavior
10. Unexplained aches and body pains
11. Lacking interest in socialization and meeting people
Dealing with Depression
For someone who is an onlooker to depression, it is very easy to suggest that the person who is suffering should just snap out of it.
But it is easier said than done.
More often than not, if not handled properly, depression makes people so dejected in life that they find it difficult to carry on with life in full. Suicide is the most rampant by-product of Depression. We have heard of many famous celebrities who resorted to killing themselves rather than talking about their condition because of the social stigma that depression still carries.
What we need to do as responsible humans to make depression an illness. Give it the status of a disease that can diagnose, discussed and talked about. Welcome an open dialogue about depression, swap stories, make therapy cool. Little things go a long way to breaking the stigma surrounding Depression.
Believe it or not, but talking and community therapy helps fight depression more than anything. Meeting with people who are going through something similar or who have experienced depression first-hand, will help the healing process go a long way.
Always treat people who are affected by depression with compassion and happiness and not sympathy. And never forget to remind them of their worth in life.
Disha is a writer, fitness enthusiast, parent of two girls and a self-proclaimed humorist. She has her Masters in Social Sciences and a diploma in Disaster Management, a degree which massively helps her in her tryst with parenting. Her true passion is photography but writing and dance come a close second. She is on Instagram and other social media as well that which are slightly irrelevant currently.