Depression: A Hidden Illness

Stone / Mads Perch

Stone / Mads Perch

Depression is among the most common mental illnesses and causes people to feel prolonged sadness and loneliness, which makes daily activities a struggle. The mental illness deals with emotional distress and causes people to have a low self perception because they are consumed with negative thoughts about their persona and life. It often goes undetected because people might think someone is simply sad or in a bad mood. There is a big difference between a temporary feeling or an incontrollable demeanor. Some symptoms may include:

  • feeling hopeless and helpless
  • lost interest in friends and normally fun activities
  • loss of sleep or appetite
  • no control over sadness
  • aggression and anger
  • excessive alcohol consumption or reckless behavior 

Part of the problem is that people often use the term too lightly, but depression is a serious illness that takes away the quality of life. At times, depression may stem from a serious tragedy or by a simple switch in the brain that causes the illness. There are people who suddenly feel this way without a big change in their lives, but it is serious nevertheless. It is important to be understanding and have compassion for those even if you may not understand the root of it. There are many ways to navigate it, but the first step is addressing it. A close circle of friends and family is priority. A support system is the initial way to help get the person the right attention they need. The idea is for the person to open up to those people or to a professional and find a creative outlet to release the pain. Some people might enjoy art therapy or sports. However, it is important to keep in mind that you cannot solely help the person overcome depression. In the end, there is no definite time for them to heal and patience is key. Sometimes people with depression may need to take antidepressants if necessary, but seeing a clinical professional is always crucial. There are four steps to remember when you are concerned about a loved one who is showing signs of depression: show your concern, be informed, reach out to a close circle of family/friends, and seek professional help.