I didn’t want to wake up. I was having a much better time asleep. And that’s really sad. It was almost like a reverse nightmare, like when you wake up from a nightmare you’re so relieved. I woke up into a nightmare.”
― Ned Vizzini
Depression is a mood disorder that affects every individual today to some degree at some point in life. Often argument seen in society today is in the past was unheard of and neither did many people suffer from such a disorder. Such a statement we find today to be highly debatable since awareness of mental disorders is something that is only now beginning to come to light.
There once was once a time where individuals would try to sneak out of the house to avoid being caught by the people since mental problems often brought stigma attached with them, which to be honest is still going on. We as a society often underestimate the importance of therapy, one is told to “man up” or “to deal with it”. Venting of emotions or allowing their expression is not accepted freely. This build up can lead to an altered state of mind causing something like depression.
Depression, some may think is a disease of only the weak mind, that can effect the mind of a coward can suffer with. This however is not true. We can’t expect anyone really to understand that state of mind because of how damaged it becomes. One cannot simply put themselves into the shoes of the individuals to understand the depressed mind. You have to undergo the experience to get the grasp and feel it. Simply understanding their perspective does no good. Depression is a powerful force of psychological erosion that can slowly break even the strongest of minds or at least scar it deep enough to get the suicidal thoughts in the right circumstances with the correct maladaptive behaviours in a person.
Depression is not something that should be brushed off casually as often done in society. When individuals make statements, which imply their desire to seek help it should be addressed promptly.
Features of depression are listed below but it should be noted that depression can manifest in certain atypical forms and often go unnoticed:
- Altered moods, such as anger, aggressiveness, irritability, anxiousness, restlessness and not necessarily always sad as people may think
- Altered state of emotional well being, such as feeling empty, absence of a sensation of love or ability to love, hopelessness
- Behavioural changes, such as loss of interest, no longer finding pleasure in favourite activities, feeling tired easily, thoughts of suicide, drinking excessively, using drugs, engaging in high risk activities at the same time individuals are known to appear to maintain a facade of normal behaviour in public but altered behaviour in private.
- Sexual interest such as reduced drive and lack of performance
- cognitive decline, such as inability to concentrate, difficulty in completing tasks, delayed responses during conversations.
- sleep patterns, such as insomnia, restless sleep, excessive sleepiness (narcolepsy)
- fatigue, pains, digestive problems.
The feelings of loneliness or feeling unloved as a group of emotions that is common in today’s social media driven world can in fact be an indication of the onset of depression though this may not be the case always. Self-realisation can be of great help to understand the problems we are going through since no one can really understand them.
Depression can be treated with pharmacological means, but the non-pharmacological means are the first option. It is important that we stress on understanding the experiences we have had in life and what trauma it can have upon us.
For many of us, our friends and close ones are really our only hope, in this age of social media and hyper connectivity, we should be connected more and communicate often, and yet it is sad to see how we ignore and make people feel lonely amongst their own friends and loved ones.
Reach out, help, listen and care more, that’s the purpose of our existence.