*trigger warning* This post is about depression and therefore, may not be appropriate viewing for some.
Disclaimer: I am not a professional. I don’t have any letters before my name, I have no training. If you are looking for professional advice contact a doctor or councilor. If you are looking for facts, statistics and proper information about depression I recommend websites like www.mind.org.uk. All my knowledge is from personal experiences, or those of the people closest to me.
For some people there is an event that brings on depression. The loss of a friend or family member, being laid off at work, a crisis of some kind. But for others it grows over time, sometimes stemming for events in that persons past like abuse or bullying, eventually leading to an over whelming moment of sadness and emptiness.
That’s a large part of depression really; emptiness. The general consensus with depression is that someone with it will essentially become a recluse and will lie in bed crying all day. This isn’t always the case. Many people who suffer with depression appear absolutely fine on the surface but are hurting underneath.
For some people, especially those you have suffered with mental illness before, they recognize that they are feeling off very early on and they seek help very early on. But for others their symptoms go unnoticed. They pass it off as stress, grief, feeling low or just having an off week or two. And why wouldn’t they. Because around the world their is a massive stigma towards mental illness, and those suffering with depression can be in denial because of this, myself included. They think to themselves ‘I’m not going to be one of those people’, when in reality nearly 1 in 5 adults in the UK alone will suffer from depression of some kind.
So the symptoms. Firstly disinterest in or forgetting about basic activities, for example having a shower, eating a meal, walking the dog. Then there is the aforementioned emptiness, best explained as feeling ‘hollow’ or numb. You begin to feel less emotion towards people in life, sometimes even pets, whilst having surges of emotional upset when alone. Another notable early symptom is skipping out on social events. For example; Parties might not be your thing, but missing a dinner with the girls/lads because you just want to go to bed, when you haven’t had a taxing week.
At this point some people can and do get better very easily. Taking a step back, spending sometime reflecting, looking into adjusting your diet and seeing a councilor can really fish you out of the waters, that do get deeper the longer you swim within them. My main piece of advice is don’t bottle things up. Don’t think that crying makes you weak or that you just have to be like everyone else and ‘deal with it’ because sometimes we need a hand with coping, especially in the darkest parts of our lives.
In the coming weeks I’m going to talk about other parts of depression, so this is just a brief summary of the early stages of depression.
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