Depression is another one on the list of mental illnesses that are not fully acknowledged in the waking society, and is proving to be most dangerous to his carrier. Depression is so prevalent, that it’s even been pinned a name of “the common cold of mental illnesses” by professionals in the field. This is a collective article to create awareness about depression, and it aims to help you as a reader to challenge your depression or help those who do.
What Is Depression?
It is a psychological impairment disorder comorbid with symptoms of anxiety, sadness, insomnia, loss of interest, ambivalence, and a shaken mental image of oneself. It can be in the form of your common unipolar depression, which is the type we’re discussing in this article, and bipolar depression, which is composed of various manic episodes unaccounted for and a lot of the times unremembered.
What Causes Depression?
Many models stand as for why depression occurs in individuals, the most prominent ones being those of genetic associations, chemical imbalances in the brain, and conflict in the unconscious mind. Depression’s onset can begin in early life, or it can emerge following a tragedy or a change of self or surroundings.
Living With Depression
If you disregard all of the symptoms and difficulties one faces when trying to fight their illness, depression is still a huge downside in societal communities. The way people react towards depressed people and people of mental illness overall proves to be a growing obstacle in their path of recovery. You’ll hear phrases like “get over it,” “stop dwelling over everything,” “it’s all in your head,” or even, “it’s just a phase.” Societies, especially ones that aren’t hyperaware (or even moderately aware) about mental illnesses and their aspects, always label depressed people with unfavorable traits, that, in fact, can all be attributed to their illness. This makes it harder for the person, because even after he gets himself out of the phase of denial that he’s struggling with the disease, society seems to be trapping him into it back again, or trying to convince him that even his belief that there’s something fishy about his state of mind is irrelevant and shouldn’t be acknowledged. Contradictory communication arises, as the person is torn between helping himself, or pushing himself further from that to please the community. This results in more isolation, or denial, both of which give rise to more severe forms of depression. And the cycle remains.
How Do I Help Myself?
- Overcome denial. If you believe you are not feeling like yourself, or you’re having trouble getting yourself out of bed or being excited or happy about the things that usually make you so, or experience any of the other symptoms listed here, chances are you have some level of depression. Understand there is no shame in it, and that this is no way a malfunction in the person you are or in the potential person you may be. It’s an illness, just like flu or food poisoning and like these illnesses too, it CAN be treated.
- Seek professional help. You’ll need help with the diagnosis, and if you’re planning on going on meds a psychiatrist will help you with that too. Medications for mental illness are more advanced nowadays, producing less and less side effects and proving very effective in illnesses that have a biological background. Your doctor can help you synchronize your medications to produce the least amount of side effects, and comfort you as you are on it. Many other treatment programs have been developed to work in parallel to medication; the psychodynamic talking therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, acupuncture.. etc. Don’t be afraid to see more than one therapist until you find one you feel most comfortable talking to and you feel is effective.
- Find supportive relationships. Stop seeing the people who augment the intensity or shame of your depression. Find the people who care about you and understand your situation enough, and cultivate yourself in social situations with them even if you don’t feel like it as much. Communication will definitely make you feel better.
- Seek different therapeutic approaches. Music can be extremely benevolent and convenient; whether you’re playing it, attending a show, or merely listening to it back at home. With the existence of so many genres and artists, one is given the feeling that there’s a song for every emotion, and somebody, somewhere, at some point of time, knows exactly how you feel. Books, art, movies and meditation work in the same manner too. Find something mind-expanding and artistic in a way, and consume yourself in it.
- Challenge negative thinking. Depression usually causes thinking impairments so you always feel like you’re doing something wrong, or there’s a fault in you as a person. When facing a problem, you have to think outside of this realm, and try to connect to the part of the situation that can show you you’re not always at fault, and there’s indeed a lot of good things about you that you should celebrate rather then remain stuck in this spiral of self-loathing.
- Treat your body well. Your body is a machine, that when something is wrong with it, can affect your cognition and thinking as well, resulting in or intensifying your depression. Depression may also come with many forms of physical self destruction, such as self harm and suicidal attempts. It is quintessential to make sure your body is in good shape, do check-ups, work out, eat healthy, and don’t drink too much as it can help resurface the negative thoughts and make you act on them.
By and large, we’d like you to understand that we stand by you, and we are strongly hoping that everyone with depression may be able to grasp it and be treated from this burdensome ailment. Do not let it get to you and take what you are as a person. It is necessary to start seeking treatment and help from your own self before anyone else.