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Why do I not want to get up? Why do I feel like a failure? Is this how society sees me, or is this how I see myself? Can I no longer enjoy the things that I used to? There is an epidemic, not just in America, but in the world. Depression affects millions of people. Some people do not even realize they have it, or choose to ignore it. Some of the questions above are symptoms of depression. There is also loneliness, fatigue, loss of appetite, among other symptoms.
Some people will choose to open up to a trusted friend, coworker, family member or clergyman. Others may find different outlets. For example: I write and draw (along with Dr. prescribed medications). There are also people who choose not to talk about it or bottle it up inside. Everyone has different coping mechanisms for depression, anxiety, and anger. It’s good to find what works best for you.
There isn’t an easy answer for what causes depression. It can be a chemical imbalance in the brain, it can be brought on by anxiety or stress, such as feeling overwhelmed, or grieving the death of a loved one. Some people experience seasonal affective disorder, or SAD for short. This means that they may become depressed during a particular season and be fine the next. How we deal with these feelings is what’s important. We shouldn’t have to resort to a permanent solution for a temporary problem.
If you learn the proper coping mechanisms, you can learn how to deal with depression, although it’s not always easy. There are various resources out there to help you if you need it. There are doctors and psychiatrists and psychologists. There are also crisis lines where you can talk to people. Some offer internet help and text messaging if you do not feel comfortable talking to someone on the phone (I know I hate talking on the phone, I would much rather text). Being depressed doesn’t necessarily mean going into a psych ward or an institution.
There are people out there who care, even when it doesn’t feel like it. There are people willing to listen (including myself). It doesn’t mean you’re weak if you need help dealing with your depression. I know that there are people who are ashamed to admit it, but there is nothing wrong with admitting that you need help.
If you still feel worried about admitting your depression or feel like it is overwhelming you and you are ready to cave, please know that the crisis lines are generally anonymous, unless they are legally obligated to inform authorities (When child abuse or neglect is a problem etc.). There are some clinics that are free or reduced cost if finances are an issue. There is always a solution that doesn’t have to be permanent.
If you are worried that someone you may know may be clinically depressed, there may be some signs there that you could possibly be overlooking. Please understand that this could be masquerading as another problem with depression being the underlying cause.
- They are no longer interested in things they previously enjoyed.
- They may overeat, not be hungry at all, or eat more or less than usual.
- They may have difficulty sleeping (Unless they are normally a night owl to begin with of course).
- Do they seem to have a loss of confidence or self-esteem? This could possibly be caused by depression.
- Are they expressing negative thoughts more than usual? (Some of us are naturally pessimistic, but if they are not normally like this, it could be sign)
- Is there an increase in anger irritability?
- Are they expressing suicidal ideas? (Talking about ways they can harm themselves, saying things like they would be better off dead, or that they wouldn’t be missed?)
These are just some of the warning signs to look for. There may be more. I am by no means a doctor, just a guy who knows what depression and anxiety look like. I hope, by reading this, you recognize the signs and get the help you need or help someone in need.
“900 years of time and space, and I’ve never met anyone who wasn’t important.” —The Doctor, Doctor Who