The hot chit chat topic of the millennials today is depression. If you’re under 30, it won’t come as a surprise to you. A uniformed comment on anything can be hazardous, let alone a disease. Today we encounter three kinds of people:
a) Those who actually suffer from this problem
b) Those who make memes about it and laugh at the issue
c) Those who try to project it as a mental health issue, where we have both pseudo preachers and people who are actually aware and want to make a change.
The question is how can you exactly make a difference? Well, first you need to educate yourself about this issue, before you step up to diagnose a friend or laugh at them. Understanding a disease can be at three levels:
1. Understanding at the level of the symptoms
By definition, depression is the
“Persistent feeling of sadness or loss of interest that characterises major depression can lead to a range of behavioural and physical symptoms. These may include changes in sleep, appetite, energy level, concentration, daily behaviour or self-esteem.”
People may experience:
Mood: anxiety, apathy, general discontent, guilt, hopelessness, loss of interest, loss of interest or pleasure in activities, mood swings, or sadness
Behavioural: agitation, excessive crying, irritability, restlessness, or social isolation
Sleep: early awakening, excess sleepiness, insomnia, or restless sleep
Whole body: excessive hunger, fatigue, or loss of appetite
Cognitive: lack of concentration, slowness in activity, or thoughts of suicide
Weight: weight gain or weight loss
Also common: poor appetite or repeatedly going over thoughts
Note: Depression is also associated with suicidal thoughts. It’s a psychological condition that occurs at various levels and needs both proper diagnosis and treatment.
Treatment (source WebMD)
1. Maintain a routine
2. Set Goals
4. Eat healthily
5. Get enough sleep
6. Take on responsibility
7. Challenge negative thoughts
8. Check with your doctor before using supplements
9. Engage in new activities
10. Try to have fun
People suffering from depression might sometimes give us hints of their condition, it’s important to reach out and provide emotional support. Talking about problems always helps.
1. Genetic and Biology
2. Brain Chemistry Imbalance
3. Female sex hormones
4. Circadian Rhythm Disturbance
5. Poor Nutrition and Physical Health Problems
7. Stressful Life Events
8. Grief and Loss
Reasons can be varied, it might be caused by a number of factors and it’s just as serious as any other significant health problem.
In earlier times, people didn’t pay attention to mental health because of unawareness which was mostly caused due to lack of sources.
ALSO READ: 9 Meditation Tips for Beginners!
Today unawareness is
Throughout our student lives, we hear and witness cases of depressions and suicides. Our most common response is
“S/he looked fine, I don’t know why did they take such an extreme step”.
What’s worse than not helping is knowing that you could have and you didn’t because of not paying attention to the signs. To be clear, it’s not your responsibility solely, as it is impossible to know what mindset is a person in at a particular time.
But what can be done is being sensitive and considerate. If you can’t be the solution, don’t be a cause either.
This can lead to a traumatic experience on part of the subject, which is one of the causes which lead to depression.
All schools and colleges already have an anti-ragging and bullying policy in place, it’s important that we conform to it and ensure that nobody else we know is a victim of it. It’s important to be alert and report instances. Saving someone’s life won’t make you a snitch.
What’s important is that we need to stop addressing minor inconveniences in life as major mental illnesses such as depression. A fake cry for help can lay over an actual one.
Not only would one be creating a situation of unreality here but masking the conditions of an actual sufferer and taking an opportunity at help from them.
Be aware, sensitive and alert.
What do you think about this?
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Picture Credit: Google Images