“My friend is depressed, she recently lost her job.”

“My uncle is going through depression after his wife left.’’

How many times have you heard of such cases? Depression is one of the most common mental illnesses worldwide and has become one of the most cited disorders practically by anyone. With this, distinguishing who is depressed from those who are only tossing around the word casually is hard. 

In this article, we will discuss what depression is and how to tell if one is depressed.  

What is depression?

This can be termed as a mental health disorder, which is mainly characterized by persistent stress and lack of interest in people and other things. It may also result in impaired judgment and moods, therefore undermining the patient’s daily life.

Depression may result from a range of triggers which may be social sources or even biological and psychological triggers. These triggers alter the brain function and in return, result in a persistent feeling of loss of interest, sadness, and being overwhelmed.

These changes lead to a range of physical symptoms which include:

  • Lack of appetite – a depressed person will lose interest in many things, and eating is one of them. This is the primary reason why depressed persons end up losing a lot of weight and energy levels. 
  • Sleep disorders – the victims may either have trouble falling asleep. It could be the opposite, and you find that the depressed person is sleeping more than an average person would.
  • Lack of concentration – depression has been a significant cause of lost jobs. The victims cannot focus on the office, and the boss has no option but to fire them. It could be that due to lack of concentration, you may unknowingly cause accidents at work and also, your productivity will go down. This happens at schools, too, to the point that bright students start failing in their exams. What’s more? A parent may lose concentration and loses track of everything in the house. 
  • Loss of self-esteem – depressed individuals suffer a lot with self-esteem, and this is the reason they do not want to be around anyone. They are very cautious about their appearance and what others think about their situation. It could be that they went through a significant loss of blow or have an illness that makes them feel less worthy.
  • Suicidal thoughts – if you know of someone who committed suicide, or has constant suicidal thoughts, chances are that they are depressed. It gets to a point where the patient does not find anything worth living for due to the darkness inside them.
  • Behavioural changes – your friend has lately been acting like some stranger, or you can barely recognize them. They have become more aggressive, rude, or no longer share stuff like they used to. They could be depressed. Maybe they have started coming to work or school later than usual and seem to be deep in their thoughts. Do not forget to check how they are doing.

How should you handle depression?

From these symptoms, it is evident that depression is not just any other condition that you should take lightly. No one should try to take this depression on themselves.

Instead, any depressed person or anyone who starts to experience these symptoms after undergoing a painful stage should seek professional assistance. Talk therapy in particular is a highly effective form of treatment. You should seek the help of a therapist and let the expert guide you on how to heal from the killer condition.

Additionally and fortunately, the internet has made things easier. You can even self-test yourself online with a depression test if you suspect that you could be going through depression before things get out of hand. You should, however, note that the online tests are not diagnoses.

Depression kills dreams, destroys relationships and kills people. If you are suffering from depression, you should get immediate help. 

Article written by Suman Kabeer