With reports of celebrity suicides, mass shootings and other acts by the mentally ill, depression and mental health are among the most important topics of discussion today. This article explains signs of depression, what it looks like, how it feels to be depressed and how you can help someone who is depressed.
What does depression look like?
There are many faces of depression. It does not discriminate by age, race, gender, ethnicity, or economic background.
We imagine that depressed people are sad and have low moods. However in many people suffering with depression become more irritable and angry. This is especially true for men and children. Some people with depression may lose themselves in activities such as television, video games, or computer searches. They may also overindulge in food or abuse drugs or alcohol.
Other people suffering with this disease continue to function effectively in their day-to-day lives and act “normal.” However, this act may take every single ounce of energy from them to get through the day. This article, from PsychCentral, lists some subtle signs of depression.
What does depression feel like?
Depression is more than sad feelings and crying often. It can wreak havoc on the body and it can cause debilitating pain. Depression also can manifest as difficulty concentrating, fatigue, insomnia or sleeping too much, overeating or no appetite, loss of interest in enjoyable activities, and “feeling stuck.”
How do you treat depression?
Depression is treatable. A holistic treatment approach focuses on treating the whole person, both body and mind. This approach can include daily exercise, a change in diet, and talk therapy. This combination of treatment modalities can pave the way to healing. However, depression can be caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain and, like other illness such as diabetes or heart disease, you may need medications or supplements to achieve a successful outcome. Whatever treatment options you choose, it is important to seek help and follow your healthcare providers recommendations consistently.
How do you help someone who is depressed?
If you suspect a loved one is suffering silently,
- Be kind and check on them. Even a small of a gesture can make a difference in a depressed person’s life because it serves as a reminder that someone cares and they are not alone.
- Let them talk. Just be there, be present, supportive and listen.
- Don’t be afraid to talk with them about your concerns and, gently, suggest they seek professional help.
- If you think they may be considering suicide, SPEAK UP. Don’t be afraid to ask them and, if you think they are suicidal, seek professional help right away. It is better to regret overreacting if you are wrong than underreacting if you are right.
If you are currently dealing with depression or know someone who is, there is hope. Depression doesn’t have to be the dark cloud overhead or the feelings buried deep within to avoid feeling judged. It’s important to tell someone, say something and seek treatment to get help.