If you don’t know, depression is a mental illness that involves a persistently depressed mood causing significant impairment in daily life. It’s not just a phase that someone goes through. Stigma surrounds depression and that is why it’s important to grasp these 5 things you should know about depression.
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There are many people in this world suffering silently. They are afraid to reach out to someone because they’re afraid of coming off as weak. They often feel like no one cares and don’t want to be judged and looked at differently. Then there are people in this world who often joke about their own mental illness which can also be a cry for help in several ways.
In all honesty, you just never know what someone is going through and that is why they always say to choose kindness.
Coming from a person who lives with this mental illness, here’s 5 things you should know about depression:
1. Depression isn’t always cuts and pill bottles.
Not everyone who has depression tries to harm themselves and it’s important to understand this. It’s not always the person who is full of sadness. It can simply be your happiest friend or loved one. Depression is shown differently in each person so always be kind to anyone you come across.
Depression is also overeating or not eating at all. Being emotionally attached and distant at the same time. Frequent sleepless nights with cold pillows. Staying in bed for 6+ hours a day believing that is normal. Cracking jokes and laughing 24/7.
2. Depression cannot be controlled. It can be treated and managed with the right medication and coping techniques.
Do you know someone with high blood pressure? Can they control it once they are told that they have it? No, not entirely. But they’re given medication to help manage it and maybe a list of things to refrain from eating and drinking. With depression, it’s the same thing. They’re given medication and a list of coping techniques. There are good days and bad days but sure enough, it cannot be completely controlled. Depression can sneak up on you during your happiest moments. Ridiculous right? I know.
3. Depression can still lead to suicide. Even if someone “loves their life too much to do such a thing.”
A person living with depression can love their life and family today and want to end it all tomorrow. When depression kicks in, you forget about the happiness you had before it. You are sent to a dark place and reminded that you are not enough, and plenty more shitty remarks from it.
Depression can make a person feel hopeless. Anything they do will tear them down forcing them to believe it could have been better. Depression will suck up any self-esteem that a person has and leave them feeling worthless.
Depression can do a lot of damage and that’s why getting professional help and learning to heal is crucial.
4. Depression can easily be hidden.
When people think of depression, they automatically think it’s someone who is really sad. Sadness is definitely one of the symptoms of depression but it is not always shown in people.
Your bubbliest friend or loved one could be depressed right now and you may not even know it. All smiles and all. They could possibly have depression and be battling it at this very moment and you know nothing about it. My point is, not everyone who lives with depression shows it. Depression can cause a person to become numb to themselves and their suffering, making it much easier to hide it.
Check on your friends and loved ones. Most of the time, the ones who seem the most “unbothered” are the ones who hide it best.
5. Depression is real.
Any person of any age, gender, or ethnicity can struggle with depression.
It’s unknown why but depression is not taken seriously by enough people. I guess from lack of insight and awareness, people continue to stigmatize it rather than trying to understand what it is. But it is indeed, real.
“Depression is just a sign of weakness”
There is no way I could ever agree with that statement. Anyone who is honestly living with this mental illness is strong as hell. Every day there’s a fight with yourself and no one will ever understand the exhaustion that follows it.
Outside looking in, people don’t know half of it. They don’t know what it’s like to want to be happy but something is tearing you down making you experience the opposite.