“People think depression is sadness, crying or dressing in black. But people are wrong. Depression is the constant feeling of being numb. You wake up in the morning just to go back to bed again”
Depression (major depressive disorder) is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act. Fortunately, it is also treatable. Depression causes feelings of sadness and/or a loss of interest in activities once enjoyed.
Often, I have had friends who have gone through depression phases and sometimes we take it too lightly especially in my culture. Having depression is not seen as an illness or a medical concern but a sign of weakness and/or taboo, but it’s because we do not really understand the effects of depression and/or the seriousness of it.
With the increased levels of Suicide amongst the youth all around the globe, almost all the cases were due to depression symptoms which were either ignored or went unnoticed by those around the individual. At times, most of the individuals don’t even know that they are depressed.
Symptoms of depression can be such as (but not limited to);
- Trouble concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and helplessness
- Pessimism and hopelessness
- Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or sleeping too much
- Loss of interest in things once pleasurable, including sex
- Overeating, or appetite loss
- Aches, pains, headaches, or cramps that won’t go away
- Digestive problems that don’t get better, even with treatment
- Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” feelings
- Suicidal thoughts or attempts
Today, we go about our business with no regard to our next until it’s too late. Which often is one of the reasons as to many (especially the young) result in getting depressed. We are no longer our brothers’, children’s, parents’ keepers. We don’t bother to genuinely inquire about others and at times we ignore the cry for help, which often is subliminal. We need to create time for our loved ones and be open-minded (not judgmental) when they bring their issue to us.
Another reason as to others results in depression is the constant competition that comes with social media and living in this new generation. The youth find it very hard to keep us with trends while others cannot fit in the “cliques” and “friend circles” because they are not considered of the same social status. We have to be. This is exactly the reason as to why we constantly have to reassure others of their worth and not because it’s too much to ask, but because society has made it hard for people to know their worth if they do not meet up to certain standards.
It’s about time we take part in stopping premature death. Seeing friends, family and other young people kill themselves especially because of depression is something that can be stopped. Depression is treatable medically and also socially. We need not see more young people with so much in them, so much to offer to the world, die and take all their dreams, unfulfilled goals and potential greatness with them to the grave.
No matter what level an individual has gotten to, we can stop it. Also, there are ways of knowing that an individual has made up their minds to die. These are some of the signs:
- A sudden switch from sadness to extreme calmness, or appearing to be happy
- Always talking or thinking about death
- Clinical depression(deep sadness, loss of interest, trouble sleeping and eating) that gets worse
- Taking risks that could lead to death, such as driving through red lights
- Making comments about being hopeless, helpless, or worthless
- Putting affairs in order, like tying up loose ends or changing a will
- Saying things like “It would be better if I weren’t here” or “I want out”
- Talking about suicide
- Visiting or calling close friends and loved ones (in an out of the ordinary manner)
If you are battling with depression or considering committing suicide, or you know anyone at all who are contemplating or going through such, kindly don’t hesitate to contact us, a trusted family member, a psychiatrist or such. Kindly do not hesitate. It’s not a shame, neither is it a taboo, but don’t let depression or anything at all lead you to your early grave.