He felt irritable, wasn’t eating well and was keeping to himself, he still smiled at passersby and attended calls of acquaintances but wasn’t keen on talking to his family and close friends, afraid he was that they might understand his sighs, they would sense the drastic step he was about to take, of taking his own life. Not that he hadn’t tried and they didn’t care, of course they all loved him but what they gave him were various suggestions and opinions.
They kept suggesting him to think positive and meditate, maybe go for a jog or walk, listen to music and eat healthy, sleep well. He wished, if he could do all that wouldn’t he just start feeling better? This is the challenge for people with Depression or most people suffering from Mental Health Disorders, if they would be able to do things which keep them happy, healthy and hearty. But why can’t they be happy anymore?
We have to figure out how they feel and what they or their loved ones can do for them to help?
Human beings are driven by emotions and we can be feeling various emotions due to various reasons. At times, we may react in a strange way than we’re expected to but that doesn’t imply that someone is Depressed or has a Mental Health Disorder. We need to understand, when it starts to get evident that someone is suffering from a Mental Illness, when that weird behaviour persists for a period longer than 2 weeks.
They must be advised to visit a mental health practitioner, as it will no longer be considered a normal reaction to events or adversities.
Let’s start by knowing what Depression is?
As per a simple definition for Depression by MayoClinic (a non-profit organization for clinical practice, education and research)- Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. Also called major depressive disorder or clinical depression, it affects how you feel, think and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. You may have trouble doing normal day-to-day activities, and sometimes you may feel as if life isn’t worth living.
What does it do to a normal person?
Anyone can be affected by Mental Disorders and Depression, one who usually looks happy and the one who doesn’t.
Depression gives many signals let’s state a few here:
- The person may feel anxious or starts having unexplained sadness bouts.
- Unexplained Physical Aches- like Backache or frequent Headaches
- Feeling restless, insomnia or sleeping too much
- Eating disorders, it could be loss of appetite or eating too much
- Lack of interest in things of pleasure like hobbies, sports, sex etc.
- Lack of concentration, in studies or at place of work
- Suicidal Thoughts and for some, killing themselves by suicide
Some Facts and Figures about Mental Health Disorders
- According to data shared on WHO website over 800,000 people worldwide die by suicide every year worldwide.
- As per MentalHealthFirstAid.com almost half of the adult population in the United States of America will suffer from Mental Health Disorders during their lifetime.
- As per (WebMd) though there are still no sure causes for each kind of Mental Health Disorders but most of them are caused by a combination of biological, psychological, and environmental factors.
What can you do when a loved one is suffering from depression or going through such feelings?
- It is important for you to let them know you are there for them- to listen and to help
- Let them vent out and never judge them
- Let them finish, what they’ve to share or express, do not make them feel suppressed by you and your assumptions
- Always try to guide them to a trained medical councillor and do not try to assume and give your personal opinions as that can worsen the things for them
- Suggest them ways to feel better like listening to music, exercising, painting etc. to feel better but do not force ask them to do something
- Keep your questions open ended and always ask them for ways and things which they think might make them feel better
- Tell them what they’re going through, can be treated
It is always difficult for others who care for us when they see any of their loved ones going through above stated problems. In such difficult times, always believe and make the sufferer also believes that it can be cured and they can feel better by seeking medical help. Assure them that they’re not alone. Make yourself well acquainted with their condition and do not judge them by their surface behavior.
You may not be a Certified mental Health practitioner but you can share the relevant information with all the people you know. Cure can be found in Clinics but help and compassion can only be found in humans. Most important of these all is to be vigilant of any such signals and be there for them. Make them feel secure, judgment free and inclusive.