Mental health has been overlooked by many cultures; people do not believe depression is a serious condition until they have experienced it themselves or have watched their loved ones suffer from depression. What exactly is depression?
Depression is a change in the mood of an individual expressed by feelings of sadness, despair or helplessness it is also known as complicated grieving over events that have happened in the life of an individual be it loss of a loved one, loss of job or heartbreak in a relationship.
In other to live a productive life positive coping mechanisms have to be put in place in other to overcome challenges that life brings across our paths. The thing about depression like any other psychiatric disorder is that once diagnosed, you will be placed on medications for life in other to avoid a relapse.
Here are 10 ways to recognize depression in yourself or a loved one
1. LOSS OF APETITE
Remember the last time you were sad or disappointed, am sure food was the last thing on your mind thats why in individuals diagnosed with depression the desire for nutrition is reduced, this is seen by a significant amount of weight loss in the individual. Although in individuals who stress eat when experiencing depression they tend to get obsess as they try to use excessive eating as a coping mechanism.
2. INCREASED OR DECREASED SLEEP PATTERN
Even with mild forms of anxiety like the ones experienced when preparing for an important exam or going for a job interview, a little insomnia (lack of sleep) might be experienced. In the depressed individual the sleep pattern is disturbed, they might wake up at frequent intervals at night or lack sleep totally. While some individuals just can’t get out of bed, they use sleep as a route of escape from the reality of their problems.
3. DECREASED MOTIVATION
This is common in major cases of depression; there is decrease in drive and pursuit of goals and dreams. Even carrying out activities of daily living such as bathing, brushing, changing of bed linens etc. becomes a problem for this individual.
4. SOCIAL WITHDRAWAL/ISOLATION
With decreased motivation comes, decreased desire to socialize and gain social support from others because most times the depressed individual feels helpless. You would see a decline in attendance to family gatherings, religious gatherings or social events the individual will ordinary go to. At home the depressed individual likes to be locked in their room all day and would request to be left alone despite efforts of family and friends to engage them in fun activities.
5. LACK OF FOCUS
Concentration and making decisions becomes a problem for individuals experiencing depression, there is loss of focus in carrying out a task whether at work or at home. There is also forgetfulness or mild memory loss.
6. FEELINGS OF WORTHLESSNESS
This is an advanced form of low self-esteem the individual feels they have no value, even if they hold important positions in the society. It could also be followed by suicidal statements such as what I am living for. Sadly we have seen celebrities and people who we perceived as happy until they committed suicide because they were depressed.
7. FEELINGS OF GUILT
Feelings of guilt is experienced in major depressive disorders and is usually associated with feelings of worthlessness, you find these individuals sometimes tearing up and asking for forgiveness even when they haven’t done anything wrong.
I know selected mutism is associated with social anxiety but in clinical depression, some individuals express mutism. When addressed they refuse to respond to questions being asked.
9. SELF-DESTRUCTIVE BEHAVIOURS
People exhibit escapist behaviors for different reasons, a major reason is depression. Alcoholism, substance abuse, gambling and reckless sex with multiple partners are just few of the examples of self-destructive behaviors expressed by people with depression. The basic idea is to replace pain with a more pleasurable experience no matter the health cost of that experience.
This is only seen in severe depressive disorders, it could be auditory or visual, it includes hearing voices or seeing things that are not real. Delusions on the other hand are false beliefs, in most depressive disorders delusions are persecutory, the individual believes the they might be harmed by those around them.
You can read my post on OVERCOMING DEPRESSION https://iniusoro.wordpress.com/2016/08/03/3-ways-to-overcome-depression/