Mental health illnesses are in a rise since the pandemic and depression tops the list. You must have seen it in news, read the statistics, act shocked and then got back to work.
Certain things are difficult to internalize until you are afflicted with them. I don’t wish ill for you but depression is real and anyone might be on the brink of a mental breakdown and you won’t even know about it. Simply because they are great at hiding their feelings, they don’t want to trouble others or appear weak as depression is often looked upon as a sign of weakness.
It could be your mother or wife whose home since a year and is crushed under the household chores, tending to kids, or working from home. It could be your husband whose so disconnected with the outside world that he was so used to, that now he’s going bonkers and wouldn’t even show in front of the kids. Or it could be your parents who might now be delusional from staying indoors, without the sunshine vitamin to boost their moods and senescence working its way into depression. Read this post for them. Keep an eye out for these signs in your friends, loved ones and yourself.
8 Signs that indicate a person might be depressed and you should check up on them.
I. Their actions and behaviours depict recklessness.
2. They talk as if there is no hope for the future.
3. They’re going through a tough time like break up, loss of job, divorce, illness or death of a loved one.
4. They seem to have withdrawn socially. You find it difficult to connect with them. They fail to respond to your calls, messages, or if you are living with them then signs like avoiding a conversation, no eye contact, diverting topics.
5. Fluctuations in appetite either in the form of loss of appetite or eating a lot.
6. Feeling overwhelmed frequently and over little things
7. They seem to ask for alone time or prefer staying solitary for long hours.
8. They avoid eye contact more than usual.
Keep an eye on your loved ones and surround yourself with people will do the same for you. if you are a parent of a teenager then this group is particularly at risk for mental health illnesses. Psychologist Tripti Vaid explained here, how to identify mental health illnesses in teens and when to seek help. Being a parent is a huge responsibility. Raising happy children who are emotionally stable and independent needs hard work right from their tender years. Psychologist SIddhika has shared some amazing excerpts in this episode.
If you have a hunch that someone might be suffering from a mental illness then the first thing you shouldn’t do is try not to be a therapist and talk them out of it saying it’s just a bad mood and they will get over it and things will be ok or time is the best healer. The reason being, we are all built and wired differently. We process emotions differently. So expecting our reactions to be similar for a certain situation is only unfair and foolish.
Another important thing to note is a person might be suffering from clinical depression and on the outside, you wouldn’t even know. If you aren’t alert enough while conversing with your friend and you take it lightly, your friend might not get the right help from you. Next thing you know he’s taken a drastic step and all you are left with is regret. Wondering if only you had sensed something is wrong and take him to a doctor for seeing professional medical help.
Does talking to someone help in depression?
let’s turn depression and mental health illness, into a living room conversation.
As a physician, I am happy that such topics have made a way into our houses thus reducing the stigma associated with it. But it also saddens me that people are looking for help in wrong places.
Depression occurs because of a reduction in the level of a neurotransmitter -SEROTONIN, which needs replacement by medications at times. Mere talking to a Patient of major depression will help only temporarily but it isn’t the cure and he will further delay getting help by visiting a psychiatrist and might take a drastic step.
It’s like saying “talk to a person with Dengue and his platelet counts will rise up”.No, they won’t.
Depression needs treatment just like any other medical illness. Reduce the stigma around mental health but raise awareness with the right information.
Who to seek help from if you are suffering from Depression?
A psychologist is a person who will offer therapy. They do not offer medication but are professionals with the training to diagnose you. In case you’ve felt suicidal, then you need to see a psychiatrist. They are trained doctors who along with counselling are allowed to prescribe medications.
There are misconceptions and taboos attached to antidepressants and psychotic drugs, but if your body needs the chemically bought serotonin and you deny it, there will be repercussions.
Never take antidepressants unless prescribed. You might face severe side effects of it. Worse, your ailment might not be treated too. Always get a diagnosis first and don’t consume someone else’s prescribed medication.
These drugs always need to be weaned. Just because you feel fine after taking them do not stop it abruptly. It just increases your chances of relapse. And lastly, medication and therapy work only if you have a supportive environment. You can’t have a bad lifestyle or be surrounded by toxic people and expect medications and therapy to work.
This post is part of Blogchatter’s CauseAChatter campaign which is a year-long initiative which aims at making a difference with our writing better known as Blogging with a purpose.