The big D - Depression
What is depression?
Sadness is a natural, temporary feeling everyone has during tough times. However, when the sadness becomes more permanent and you're constantly doubting yourself, always feeling alone no matter how many people you have around you or exhausted even after a full night sleep then you're showing strong signs of depression. I can understand how people that have never been truly depressed cannot recognize the immense effect this illness has on others; This is because it's so easy to misapprehend the many different responses, one minute it can feel fine then before you know it a huge burden comes over as if it is bringing you down until your energy has all been drained. Although, society really needs to come to terms with how serious the mental illness actually is. According to http://www.clinical-depression.co.uk/ up to 80% of suicide deaths are sufferers of major depression, with a person dying from suicide every 40 seconds on average. These numbers are too big to ignore, depression kills.
Why I'm writing to you about this illness
It's hard when people have no idea what's wrong, it doesn't help when there is little explanation of what is going through the mind of someone suffering with depression. When I was around 7 or 8 I always struggled getting to sleep, I would cry for what felt like hours in my father's arms asking the same question every time, 'Why are we here?'. I am always contemplating the meaning of everything, evermore questioning my future along with everything else on this big blue marble. I was also bullied a lot in primary and secondary school, I used to go home with cuts and bruises, my parents would go mental at the school teachers but they never did anything about it. That is where I believe my depression commenced. I As well as a bad relationship with an even worse person. The three year relationship started off great, we would be with each other a lot and before I knew I had fallen in love. Everyone who looked out for me told me that she is trouble, I was too blindsided it was too late. So then it wasn't long before everything would change, she would always put me down no matter how much love and affection I gave her, I would feel terrible because of her but I couldn't be without her. As well as starting to feel suicidal I was becoming more and more less motivated. As I was closer to breaking the heart-crushing relationship up she fell pregnant. We were both so scared, I knew it would be wrong of me to break up after the news. During the nine months I found out she had been flirting and talking to other guys in a way no one in a relationship should. Life wasn't getting any better. After our son was born his mother became diagnosed with postnatal depression. Looking back I didn't know how I coped, she would say that she cheated on me and that our son wasn't mine, completely messing with my head. Furthermore, she made up some horrible, vindictive lies that I raped her the day our son was conceived. It could not be more wrong people who knew what she was really like always said that this person I loved more than I loved myself just wanted a baby. Two years on and it has become more clear, I have no idea where she is living with our son, no way of contacting her as she blocked me on just about everything as well as already having another baby with someone else with another one on the way. I find it hard talking about my past so I apologize if it's not very clear, but no words can explain the pain I went through. It's impossible to carry on as if everything's normal.
It's hard for others to notice a victim of depression, that is why it's down to you to notice the symptoms. Depression effects people differently, however, the main symptoms include:
- Feeling hopeless and helpless
- Feeling tired all the time no matter how rested you are
- Sleeping and appetite has been altered
- Lose interest in friends, activities, and other things you used to enjoy
- Tasks that were easy may now be more difficult
- Unable to control negative thoughts despite how hard you try
- Finding it hard to concentrate
- Feeling much more irritable, aggressive, or short-tempered than usual
- Consuming more alcohol and/or other substances than normal or engaging in other reckless behavior
If you have two or more of these symptoms you may be suffering from depression, from here you should go talk to someone about this, whether it is a friend, family member, a doctor or even me. I will happily help anyone through any tough times they're having, solely because I know how hard it is and no one should go through it alone.
Reach out to someone
It seems in today's world more teenagers or young people see depression as a way to get attention. Sickening to think that someone could lie about a mental illness just for a chance to become more popular. This only makes it harder for people to trust someone who really does have depression which can be the difference between helping them or just making this person worse.
I've never really spoken to anyone about my depression, I have major trust issues which get in the way of relationships and even friendships, so all my problems were all bottled up and tried to be forgotten about. IT DOESN'T WORK. If you're feeling depressed or upset then tell someone, anyone, as long as you can trust them you will feel better in the long run I guarantee. Looking back I wish I spoke about it to my parents more, they're always doing what they think is best for me but have no idea about the battle that goes on in my mind. I used to be so motivated and well driven with big dreams, but now I struggle to get out of bed every morning let alone out of the house.
Do you suffer with depression?
There can be many different causes for depression, it can depend on the persons upbringing, well-being or many more. But to know the root of your depression can greatly improve your chances of healing your mind. The main causes of depression are:
- Lack of social support
- Stressful life experiences
- Financial dilemmas
- Family history of depression
- Health problems or excruciating pain
- Marital or relationship problems
- Alcohol or drug misuse
- Unemployment or underemployment
- Childhood trauma or abuse
Knowing the cause can help to treat the illness, for example, depression caused by alcohol or drug misuse can be helped by rehab more than anti-depressants, or a lack of social support may be helped by reaching out to new people or leaving behind 'friends' that are no good. The point I'm trying to make is that to start getting better you have to start off with the origin.
Please take just over 3 minutes to watch this video by CallMeKat from YouTube
Like I previously said, start off with identifying the cause of your depression. The harshness of your depression is also an element. The more severe the depression, the more comprehensive treatment you will likely need. Have an open mind to different treatments, it isn't just anti-depressants that can help fight depression, everyone responds differently to each method. Perhaps try taking a walk by yourself everyday to help ease your mind or maybe go into therapy, at first you won't know if it's helping or not so experiment with different methods. I know I've said this before but it is important to talk to someone close to you about what you're going through, as the phrase goes 'A problem shared is a problem halved' . As much as it feels like you are alone in this battle against depression you are not and no one should feel that way, over 350 million are in the same boat. If we all reached out to one another building each others confidence or self belief then depression could be easier to fight. Like most illnesses any treatment will not cure it right away so you have to be committed even when it seems so frustratingly slow, healing takes time.
It is important for anyone who isn't suffering with depression to understand how much of an impact it can have on someone's life, depression isn't just a word used for someone that feels a little upset but a mental illness that is strong enough to make a person's life a misery, to the point where they can be suicidal. Anyone can be a victim of depression even those with a big smile on their face, so think before saying or doing anything to someone because it could be the difference between life or death.