By Amy Slocombe
Everyone comes across obstacles in their life, some physical and some not. One such obstacle is mental illness. Mental illness is a difficult topic to discuss because there will always be those who don’t understand.Depression is an example of a mental illness.
Whether depression is of a genetic, circumstantial or other nature, it is extremely difficult to deal with and you cannot just snap out of it. Moments seem to drag on for an eternity and the pain never seems to end. Depression therefore has many bad effects, such as suicidal thoughts, isolation and self-harm.
Depression is something that not many people see, either because they simply don’t want to, or because those who suffer from it have become exceptionally good at hiding it. A large number of people hide their depression due to feelings of shame and embarrassment or a belief that they should somehow be able to ‘fix’ themselves. Even though this generation is becoming more and more accepting of mental illness, some people still see it as something to be ashamed of. This is largely due to the prevalence of comments where depression is referred to as ‘attention seeking’ and sufferers are told to ‘snap out of it’.
Depression controls you and has many consequences. Once someone has succumbed to it, the power and strengths they once had can be extremely difficult to regain. In this world people say you can either survive or thrive, but even surviving is easier said than done when you suffer from depression. Seeking help is always the best option, but people suffering from depression are hesitant to ask, due to the aforementioned shame. The best way to help others is to learn how to recognise the signs of depression so that you can recognise the issue, and support the affected person by encouraging them to seek help.
A few signs of depression
- Enduring sadness – while everyone feels sadness, depression takes over completely.
- A low sense of self esteem – this can be accompanied by self-loathing.
- Loss of interest – you lose your drive and interest in everything you once loved. This can affect school work, hobbies and professional work.
- Isolation – one tends to close his/herself off from others and often becomes easily irritated.
- Loss of sleep or too much sleep.
- Excessive weight loss or weight gain.
- Feelings of anxiety, guilt, apathy and disinterest.
The best way to deal with depression is to ask for help. Confide in a friend or family member or someone else you trust. Visit a psychologist to help you work through your feelings. Join a support group. Whatever it takes to help you through this is not an indulgence, but absolutely necessary.