The most frequent mental health concern across the life span, more prevalent in certain age groups than others, yet can severely interfere with the quality of ones life- regardless of whether symptoms are severe enough to warrant a diagnosis.
Depression can portray itself in many forms to the person who suffers from it, and way more elusively to people who are seeing (or not seeing) it in others. Individuals suffering with depression may put on a strong/ happy exterior which makes it so hard to identify in others. If you think you may be one of them, I understand the amount of effort it takes to get out of bed and go about your day. The reason most people will not be able to identify someone who may be suffering, is because it is still tabooed, thus concealed to the best extent possible, and thus made 'invisible'. This is why it is extremely important to treat each individual we encounter, with utmost compassion.
Depression is more than just low mood. If you are unsure if you may be suffering- seek help at the earliest and get going on the path to recovery. A mental health professional like a counselling psychologist, such as myself, will go through the symptoms that you have been facing, understand the possible cause of it, and together with you decide the best therapeutic treatment.
Below you will find some concerns which may indicate that you may benefit from seeking help:
- Feeling low often, and for extended periods of time
- Disinterested in engaging in things you previously found pleasurable
- Low energy/ lethargy
- Difficulty to concentrate on things
- Sudden or unexpected loss/gain in weight
- Too much sleepiness or inability to sleep
- Feeling that no one can help or lack of hope
- Suicidal thoughts
Here are some things to note:
- A number of people suffering from depression may actually be highly functioning in various aspects of their lives.
- No, it isn't always obvious when someone is suffering!
- It is insensitive to tell someone to "get over it" / "stop seeking attention"
- No, they are not faking it!
- Children may also be susceptible!
- It is not helpful when you avoid someone who may be experiencing symptoms
Here are in fact, somethings that you can do to help!
- Offer support- physically being present as well as verbally
- Try to read up in the nature of their concerns
- Be accepting of how they feel
- Avoid comparing their experiences to any one else's
- Advice is usually unhelpful too
- Take care of yourself while caring for someone else
If you suspect that you or someone close to you may be experiencing symptoms of depression, reach out now! Sooner is always better! Through a supportive environment, compassion and a non-judgmental ear in therapy, recovery is the only possibility.