Ah, this topic. I talk about depression so much these days, I’m beginning to feel like a mascot *insert favorite costume*. It’s not so funny but when you’re in a place where it is one of the most misunderstood issues and the most avoided as well, you find that there’s a need to keep talking about it. That’s one reason; the other being that I’m a guy, and since being of the male gender is associated with being closed up about our feelings, someone has to take it for the team, right?
Well, it’s hard to feel held down by feelings that are often indescribable. You feel you’ve lost something but you don’t even know what it is, but then maybe you’ve lost yourself – only that you’ve got no idea. You’re grieving, blaming yourself for stuff that isn’t remotely your fault. It might get to a point where you begin to lose interest in things that you would normally do – things that you even enjoy – like hanging out with friends, savoring the lustrous taste of ice cream, and so on.
Sometimes people will tell you to snap out of it, like it’s just you feeling sad. Sad? That would be pretty awesome compared to depression. We’re talking about a real illness here, like err… Paralysis. Yeah it’s a cause of disability fam, not some ephemeral feeling that fades the next minute you see a crazy meme on twitter.
Some would tell you to throw yourself deeper into a demanding activity like work but this is an insane (I’m sorry, can’t help it) recommendation.
Overworking might actually be a sign that someone is clinically depressed and the chances that the person is male are higher in this regard.
I remember when I once went on a long rant when I was once again, on the brink of slipping into that dark pit. A friend told me I was basically having a pity-party. LOL! I didn’t even bother responding because I knew what he was on about. We have a culture that admires willpower and mental toughness – which is good but on the flip-side, is quick to label anyone who for one reason or the other, can’t keep up sometimes, as a whiner.
The thing is; People who are depressed are not lazy or simply feeling sorry for themselves (why would anyone want to do that?). Nor can they “will” depression to go away, because we’re not talking comics or Hollywood here.
Depression is a medical illness — a health problem related to changes in the brain and no one would wish for it.
When you’re sad, there’s usually a reason and while some life experiences might be responsible for a stressful spell, like a job loss, a breakup or the death of a loved one, it’s not always the case. A lot of depressed people feel that way without even knowing why. And that’s the most difficult part of it all; when you don’t know why they are that way, how can you help? But there’s hope.
Depressed people feel hopeless but one of the first steps to getting them back on track is to give them hope. But that won’t happen by being distant. One of the first things I learned – as closed off as I was – was to talk about it. Today, there’s evidence that discussing with a professional can make things much better. Variations of psychotherapy help treat depression by addressing negative thought patterns, unconscious feelings, or relationship troubles. The first step is to talk to someone. If it’s a mental health professional, even better!
Also, there’s this thing called Cognitive Behavioural Therapy – big English for learning new ways of thinking and acting. Imbibing positive thinking to replace negative and self-defeating thoughts can ease depression. In addition to this, exercise; it helps relieve stress, an effect owed to the hormones released during the process as well as having an overall calming effect. It would even be better if you can do it as a group.
Right now I’m beginning to feel like I’m talking too much but I hope you get the point:
Depression is real but it is not the end.