Depression has become one of the top leading causes of suicides among people from various age groups, especially during this year. With a heavy heart famous celebrity figures such as Kate Spade, Anthony Bourdain and Chester Bennington, Jonghyun or Robin Williams have all taken their lives and left this world due to depression. If such famous figures who seem to have it all from money, fame, success, travel and have yet still felt unhappy and empty, then one can only imagine the tremendous amount of ordinary individuals taking their lives every day due to several factors leading towards their depression. Statistics carried out by WHO claims that every 40 seconds one person takes their life by suicide somewhere around the world! Although suicide has its own reasoning behind it, about 50-75% of the suicides recorded are caused by depression.
Depression may seem to be an underrated mental illness and no doubt it is difficult to fully understand its complexity and how it affects a person until and unless you experience it to some level yourself (which we hope no one ever has to). Depression is scary, it has the ability to affect you mentally, emotionally, spiritually and finally physically and the most precarious part about depression is the fact that the person suffering from it may not even know that they are depressed. Because depression can happen with anyone at any time despite their fit health, comfortable lifestyle or superb career it is necessary for each individual to thoroughly understand first and foremost that they can be a target of depression even though the chances may seems low. No one knows why one may suffer from it, while there may be several of reasons for depression to occur, sometimes it just strikes you even when you have no problems or stress to worry about or you least expect it. Therefore, before it is too late, educate yourselves and others around you on what depression may feel like in its initial stages and if you think at any point you are depressed then a simple checkup will do no harm. Save yourself before depression makes you take away your life!
- You start losing interest
One of the most initial stages of depression is losing interest not only in the things you like to do but also in daily mundane activities. It obviously does not occur overnight but you must track how long this phase lasts and whether or not you return to your normal state. From meeting with friends twice a week, you might purposely cancel plans and meet once a month or not at all. Canceling plans once in a while or so is alright, sometimes you need that time for yourself to re-energize but if you see this as a habit and just the thought of going out and meeting people bothers you then consider it a warning sign. Gradually, a mundane activity such as grocery shopping, laundry, doing the dishes or even fixing your bed becomes a burden. Again note that just because some people are lazy and choose not to do it does not make them depressed, however if you think of it as a burden and develop an attitude of “forget it, let it be” or “ I don’t care” for a long period of time then know that something isn’t normal.
- Your feelings are all over the place
Yes we all feel sad to some extent on various things in our life but understand that depression is not only the feeling of sadness it is much much more than that. When you’re beginning to be depressed a wave of grief and sadness will hit you and will stay for quite a long time to the extent of disrupting your daily activities. You will constantly prefer to be left alone and unattended rather than doing simple chores or socializing. You will tend to prefer sleeping for consecutive long hours and take naps several times during the day just so that you don’t have to feel your sadness. Eventually phases of crying will take place from once a week to twice, thrice and maybe more. You may get extremely frustrated and stressed because you don’t know what is happening to you and at some point you may ask yourself several times “what is wrong with me?” “why am I feeling this way?” you may begin to feel feelings of anger, recklessness or anxiousness all the time for no given reason and then a hollowness may begin to creep in gradually despite your attempts to make things feel normal again. If by now, no matter what you do still leaves you empty from the inside then please seek medical help or just begin to talk it out because most certainly you are in a depressive phase.
- You slowly give up physically
When you being to notice small changes physically with yourself such as losing weight, eating less, playing with food, feeling tired and fatigue constantly even when you don’t do anything, feeling sleepy, severe laziness or experience un-explainable body aches and pains at some point, then it is time to take this as a red flag and know that this is not you. This is your depression taking control over your attitude, mood and now your body. This is the time to make changes before you continue to dwell into this period and move towards the stage of keeping everything to yourself only. During this phase your bed or couch becomes your best friend and nothing in the world will give you comfort then being all alone in your room or house curled in your bed doing nothing and you may begin to disregard hygiene also. Although this act may seem to give you comfort, do not be deceived because it is only then when your body is allowing your mind and your negative thoughts to wander to extreme extents that will lead to unfavorable ideas. Your mind will introduce you to the likeliness of death, self-harm and other negative things which is exactly what you should refrain from!
- Too much or too little sleep
If you think you’ve suddenly become a sleep lover or you seem to have a lot of trouble sleeping on the contrary then consider it another early symptom of depression. A healthy sleep schedule may not depend on the number of hours you sleep although minimum 6 straight hours is suggested as appropriate but the time you sleep may matter. If you are sleeping throughout the day and the night constantly then that is questionable and if you tend to be awake all night being unable to rest your eyes even for a bit then again consider it a sign of depression.
If you or any of your loved one may feel any part of the above if not all then please immediately get a check to be on the safe side. Depression is not an illness to be ashamed of at all! Any one at any age can suffer from this for no apparent reason. So don’t risk your own life for something which is curable and most certainly prevent others from risking their lives as well by keeping a watch out of these symptoms in them!