The stigma around depression and other mental health issues is reducing
It’s important to be aware of depression and what it entails. Major depression affects 121 million people worldwide. Two out of three individuals with depression do not receive adequate treatment. Here are 10 important things everybody should know about depression.
1. Depression is a mental health issue that can be treated
Depression is a common but serious mood disorder. It causes severe symptoms that affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, or working. To be diagnosed with depression, the symptoms must be present for at least two weeks.
2. People with depression are not just having mood swings or a bad day
Depression is more than just ‘feeling blue’. Symptoms include: psychomotor activity changes, trouble sleeping, loss of interest in pleasurable activities, feelings of guilt or hopelessness, decreased energy, trouble concentrating, appetite changes, and some people have suicidal thoughts or attempts.
3. There may not be a ‘reason’ for depression
Depressed people can be rich, beautiful, have great jobs and still be depressed.
4. Depression is physically draining
Although it’s a mental illness, depression can have effects on the body. It’s not just in the mind.
5. You can’t wish depression away
Depression can’t be cured by ‘cheering up’ or doing fun things. It is a serious illness, like any other illness and should be treated by a medical professional. I’m sure you don’t try to ‘be strong’ and go about your normal activities when you have malaria. Approach depression the same way, and see a specialist.
6. Living with depression does not make the sufferer ‘weak’
They have an illness that manifests in different ways. They’re not doing it for attention, and they can’t just ‘be strong’.
7. Depression can be overwhelming
Being depressed can be very overwhelming. It is usually a struggle for depressed people to do basic things like getting out of bed, or eating.
8. Depression can make the sufferer feel unworthy and undeserving of love
Depressed people often retreat into themselves, and prefer to spend time alone. It’s very easy to think they’re not making an effort, but if you have a friend or family member who is depressed, be kind to them, allow them to have their alone time, and don’t pressure them to engage in activities they don’t want to.
9. You are not alone
Millions of people suffer from depression. It’s easy to feel like you’re crazy and think bad thoughts about yourself, but always remember that you are not alone.
10. Depression is not a choice
People with depression don’t choose to be depressed or dwell in their sadness. They are suffering from an illness that is caused by several factors. Just like you don’t choose to have a cold, they don’t choose to be depressed.