Depression already proved it exists so many times as it took the lives of people we never thought could and would end their lives. Robin Williams, Kate Spade, Chester Bennington, and Anthony Bourdain were among successful people who lived in wealth and fame. However, these were not the only things they had in common. They all suffered depression. Their passing shocked the whole world as many of us ask, “Why?”
Now we know that depression is something that can happen to anyone – wealthy and poor or young and old. Kurt Smith, Psy.D., LMFT, LPCC, AFC used to say, “Depression is different from passing sadness or temporary frustration with life’s issues. There are number of common signs for depression and they tend to be persistent.” That’s why it is not okay to ignore someone who says, “I’m depressed.” Yes, many of us may misunderstand being sad or problematic to being depressed, but if we genuinely care about a person, it wouldn’t matter if it’s depression or not. The fact that the person opened up to us is enough to make us responsible. We have the moral obligation to do something because someone is crying for help, may it be serious or not.
People who suffer depression do not normally say “I’m depressed” because they would hide it as much as possible. They would act strong and happy that it wouldn’t show that they are going through something tormenting. However, it doesn’t mean you have to ignore people who say they are depressed. It is not for you to say otherwise.
What You Should Do When Someone Tells You “I’m Depressed”:
You Should Be Present
You need to be there for someone who says, “I’m depressed.” If he asks to meet up, then you should go. Whether it is depression or not, he told you his feelings because he trusts and depends on you to lessen the weight he is carrying. Remember that we do not call just anyone to be there for us when we feel sad or down. We call someone we know would make us feel better. “Be supportive and let them know it is not that you think something is wrong with them, but that you want them to have some help with their current challenges. Sometimes, people who are depressed want help but don’t know how to get started.” Vara Saripalli, PsyD suggests.
You Should Listen
It doesn’t matter if you find his thinking shallow. No matter the nature, cause, or reason for his sadness or depression, he is still affected. That is enough reason for you to acknowledge his feelings. You don’t get to say it is nothing or immature even if it is. You are never in a position to invalidate someone else’s feelings. Doing so is a like saying you know better.
You Should Give Advice
It is not necessarily advice but a confirmation that someone acknowledges his feelings. If there’s one thing a sad or depressed person needs, it is the sense of not being alone. He needs to feel understood and validated because he may think that he is hopeless and helpless. The best advice you can give is to tell him to seek professional help.
“Depression is not a weakness of character, laziness, or a phase. Tough love, like telling someone to ‘buck up’ or ‘try harder,’ doesn’t work, and worsens the illness.” Deborah Serani, PsyD said. We should never ignore someone who says, “I am depressed.” These three words are a cry for help, may it be depression or not. Many lives have already perished without anyone having a clue, so if someone opened up saying he is sad, down, or depressed, it is our accountability to make him feel that there is hope.
Although mental health has been a hush-hush topic until recently, a disorder like depression has often been easy to acquire for people of all ages. If a person gets laid off work and cannot find a new job after months of applying here and there, he or she tends to clam up and lose their confidence. In case someone experienced heartbreak for the nth time, he or she may question his or her lovability and cry over the broken relationship in the bedroom for days.
Although there have been many studies conducted about depression as a whole, studies on general symptoms that could be seen in people, and especially how it manifests in daily situations, people suffering from depression still experience it in unique ways. We aren’t going to talk about causes, symptoms or treatments, but instead, try our best to know and understand teen depression in its purest and most relatable forms.
The feeling of sadness and hopelessness is normal to everyone. It certainly is not right to say that there were people who were lucky enough to possess the things they needed to be happy. If there’s one thing that you should keep in mind once you get out of your room, it’s that all people come from the different walks of life.
Depression doesn’t heal overnight. It cannot be cured by over-the-counter medicines, band-aids or even surgery. The healing comes from the person himself/herself and the people around him/her.
Whether it’s for you or for the people you love, it’s better to familiarize yourself with the early warning signs of depression. Most of the people who are not aware of the modern-day mental health issues equate depression to ‘just mood swings.’
- Feeling Of Sadness And Hopelessness
A common manifestation of a looming depression is the feeling of sadness and sense of helplessness. One becomes irritated most of the time and even feels hopeless for the future. One suddenly becomes pessimistic, even to the point of crying without any apparent reason. “Feeling hopeless often leads to anger in men as opposed to the lethargy that can manifest in women. As a result, depression in men can be particularly hard to spot sometimes because it doesn’t look like we think it should.” Dr. Kurt Smith, LMFT, LPCC, AFC said
People experiencing depression, however, are very good at masking their emotions. This symptom is not easy to spot on any person other than yourself. People who suffer from this and decide to keep it for themselves are most likely to develop severe depression.
- Feeling Of Guilt And Self-Loathing
Indeed, this is one of the most typical telltale signs that depression may take over a person – he/she starts blaming him/herself for a fault done. It’s normal that self-blaming becomes the emotional response to some. But, if it already affects your behavior, the chances are high you are already suffering from depression.
- Trouble Concentrating
Depression can take your focusing abilities away. A person’s memory and attention span lessen during this hard time. This problem also severely affects one’s capability to make sound decisions and good judgment.
Check yourself and family members if there are recurring times of misunderstanding at your house or at work. If the disagreement arises from you or loved one’s lack of attention and difficult comprehension, then this may be a sign of depression.
- Loss Of Self-Confidence
Often, comes with self-blaming is the loss of confidence in one’s own ability and skills. As mentioned, depressed people develop a pessimistic outlook on life. Generally, they have lost the will to believe what more they can do.
If you’ve noticed yourself or any loved ones manifesting shyness or lack of confidence, maybe it’s time to do something before depression take control of you or your loved ones’ everyday life.
- Finding ‘Immediate’ Ways To Cope With Sadness
People suffering from anxiety and depression abuse alcohol to numb their system. Some, however, put all their attention to work as a form of escape. They may be staying up late behind their office desks or laptops to gear their swirling emotions away. It’s like tricking the brain to act busy most of the time. But Lisa S. Larsen, PsyD believes that “When people are given a supportive environment and a safe relationship, they can let down their guard and heal.”
- Decreased Energy Levels
Looming depression eats one’s energy. Usually, you would have the spirit to do everything at once. Taking a warm shower, fixing your hair, trying all the clothes just to see which one fits the best – all are done in no time especially if in a hurry.
However, when one is going through depression, only the most vital activities after waking up are done. Furthermore, these activities are done slower than the usual.
- Body Pains And Aches
Poor appetite is also a manifestation of depression which, in turn, can cause physical aches. Changes in weight is one of the effects brought by emotional factors. Frequent digestive problems without apparent underlying reasons can also signal depression.
In this modern world and generation, millennials suffering from depression enter the social media either to find help anonymously or share their thoughts about life silently. Don’t take these for granted, even if it’s just for you. Depression is not a cycle that will go away eventually. Simon Rego, PsyD says, “mental health disorders are real, significant, and common. We need to do a much better job of looking out for people with depression, educating the public to take them seriously and to understand how important it is to get connected with a licensed mental health professional for help. Because great help exists, if people are willing to seek it out.”
Depression is one of the leading causes of lost productivity in the US. If the daily grind becomes too much to handle or cope with, then mental illness isn’t really impossible. According to the Depression Center at the University of Michigan, it costs the employers an astounding $44 billion! The numbers continue to grow annually, and it’s not stopping anytime soon.
“Depression is exhausting to the person suffering from it. Just accomplishing the bare minimum can seem like too much work.” Kurt Smith, Psy.D., LMFT, LPCC, AFC said. So are you getting caught up with too much work? Do you feel like depression is starting to grow on you, and crippling your performance? To cure it means to know it.
There’s only one way to find out!
Here are the signs you’re getting depressed with your work:
You Experience Work Discrimination Or Harassment
Did you come from a far-away province and you can’t seem to lose your accent, so your workmates make fun of you? Bullying. Is your co-worker a creep, touching your butt every time you pass by his workstation?
Sexual harassment. These, among many other things, are nasty behaviors that would make you crazy. In a bad way that is. You should never feel uncomfortable in your job, and not be scared of your co-workers. If it is, then it’s making you depressed.
You Have A Bad Boss
Don’t mistake a bad boss from an annoying one. Sure, there may be times when we feel so drained because of the overload work the bosses keep piling on us. That doesn’t automatically mean they’re bad, though. Some job just really requires more work than others.
So what makes a bad boss? They love tattletales who report to them, and they have their favorite employees. They fail to communicate and doesn’t have clear expectations. They ignore their employees entirely until a problem comes up, then they pounce. They intimidate people and even bully their staff. They take credit for another staff’s work (and success). And they fail to provide motivation, rewards, and recognition to their employees.
You’re Not Getting Enough Rest
“Some people who are diagnosed with depression do not report feeling depressed, sad or low, but rather, they report experiencing significantly diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities most of the day, nearly every day” That is according to Simon Rego, PsyD, chief psychologist at Montefiore Medical Center. Let’s say that your work requires A LOT of effort to get things done. That doesn’t mean you should sacrifice your rest and sleep all the time for it. Remember, sleep is one of the BASIC and most important needs of an individual. If you lack sleep, it can cause depression, or make your current depression even worse!
You Receive Less Than What You Deserve
In short, you’re not fairly compensated. Imagine doing lots of work for a whole day, for 7 (or sometimes 8) days a week, and you only get a salary which you can’t even last for five days… That would drive you insane! No exaggerations. You need to be wary of this because sometimes, this isn’t just a cause of depression, but of aggressiveness to your peers and workmates as well. Also, if you see that the company is performing well, and it’s not reflected in your salary (or other rewards), it’s quite upsetting.
You Don’t Have A Voice
Not quite literally. If you are in a team, then you should have your fair share of opinions, and suggestions as to how you could achieve your plan. Maybe some co-workers keep interrupting you once you start to talk, or they leave the room because they think your opinion doesn’t matter. Either way, that kind of attitude and behavior would break you, and you’d find yourself doing everything their way.
Experiencing any of these alarming signs?It’s time to take action. Seek support from professionals or your loved ones. Don’t let yourself go down deep the rabbit hole. “Instead of spiraling downward into increasing anxiety and depression, we’re able to stop that spiral and respond in a more appropriate fashion,” says Saundra Jain, MA, PsyD, LPC
Teenagers are depicted to have a carefree life, full of excitement and always seeking for thrill and adventure. That’s why when we hear stories of teenagers going down the slope of depression, and some even taking their own lives, we immediately ask why or what makes them so depressed at a very young age.
Causes of teen depression
First of all, depression is described as a low emotional state that makes the person withdraw from normal activities. “Depression symptoms take many forms, and no two people’s experiences are exactly alike. A person who’s suffering from this disorder may not seem sad to others.” John M. Grohol, Psy.D. said. However, usually, this can happen after suffering from a loss or grief. There will be times in a person’s life to feel depressed, but can eventually recover and go back to usual activities again. In clinical depression, this is when the person goes into an abyss of hopelessness, feelings of doom and desperation, which can sometimes lead to suicides if not immediately discovered and remedied.
There are many elements linked to teen depression. It can be one cause or combination of several factors that help develop the psychological condition. Experts in adolescent psychiatry have identified several predisposing and possible factors that cause teen depression.
- Dysfunctional family – A teenager who comes from a broken home and/or troubled home environment are more likely to develop depression.
- School related factors – There is academic pressure to stay in school, peer pressure to be accepted in a social circle, bullying by other students that can lead to the depressed state, if the teenager is unable to meet all of these challenges.
- Substance abuse – Teenagers tend to experiment with drugs and alcohol. If the case worsens, it can lead to depression and other mental disorders.
- Poverty – Living in a low-income family life, where the ability to secure material resources and even the basic necessities are scarce, can lead to a depressing situation where teenagers sometimes cannot adapt and accept. “Being in a low socioeconomic group is a risk factor for depression. This may be due to factors such as perceived low social status, cultural factors, financial problems, stressful environments, social isolation, and greater daily stress.”As explained by Ben Martin, Psy.D.
- Traumatic events like losing a significant other or suffering from a very traumatic accident that leads to physical defect or loss of limb.
- Romantic problems – Teenagers’ milestone is to establish or create intimate relationships with the opposite/same sex. If they encounter problems within the relationship, especially a heartbreak, this can also predispose to depression
- Low self-esteem as a result from being harassed, physical defect, etc, can also develop into depressive states.
- History of depression in the family – Research shows that heredity also plays a major role in the development of depression. There is an increased likelihood of experiencing depression if one of the family members have it.
Why should we be alarmed?
In adolescents, when we see them sad or looking disinterested, we just think that it’s part of their natural emotional state as teens tend to get moody at this stage. They will exhibit happiness today and then get depressed the next day. But, it is critical to watch out for warning signs of clinical depression so as to intervene immediately:
- Alterations in sleeping patterns – excessive sleeping and insomnia
- Loss of weight and/or weight gain
- Lack of interest in activities
- Poor academic performance or low grades in school
- Distancing from usual friends and families
- Emotional states like sadness, anger, hopelessness, irritability
Early intervention is possible by referring the teenager to a general practitioner, and eventually to a psychologist or psychiatrist if needed. Dr. Chantal Gagnon PhD LMHC often says, “The best person to evaluate which medication for depression is most appropriate for you is a Psychiatrist.”
Anxiety can hit a person at any time, and there isn’t always a reason for it. It just happens. A lot of the time, the only thing a person suffering from an anxiety attack needs is someone to be there with them as it happens.
Of course, it doesn’t mean you are responsible for fixing the problem, but it does make it a lot easier for the person to overcome the episode when they have somebody they’re comfortable with who can remind them that things will be okay. On this article, we suggest to you a few simple things you can do when your friend is suffering from an attack:
- Talk To Your Friend
According to Dr. Aaron Kaplan, PsyD, Clinical Psychologist, “Why talk about your problems including mental health challenges? Just talking about your situation to someone can reduce your stress and help you feel better.” Calmly talk to your friend through it. Remind them that they have nothing to be afraid of, remind them that they are not obligated to stay around if they feel uncomfortable, and assure them that it will pass. Carry light and straightforward conversation with them and try to steer their mind away from the heaviness they are feeling at the moment. Talking to your friend may slowly pull them out of the state of panic.
Do remember, however, that words must be carefully chosen. Don’t tell them to relax, don’t question why they are panicking, and don’t belittle their situation. Be as gentle and understanding as possible.
- Help Them Through Breathing Exercises
The body responds to the stress when an anxiety attack hits. The attack may result in the person having difficulty in breathing and may lead to dizziness and hyperventilation. When this happens, be prepared to bring them water, take them out to an area where they can get more air, and encourage them to take slow, deep breaths. “Any relaxation strategy involves use of your self-regulation strength. This strength involves taking control of your breathing and creating a greater feeling of calmness in your body’s physiology.” Ryan M. Niemiec Psy.D. explains.
- Recognize Their Progress
Anxiety can be triggered by simple activities including the fears the person may be experiencing. When you notice that they’ve taken a step forward in progressing themselves, recognize it and do something to commemorate this milestone. Your encouragement and support may help them feel proud of themselves, and assure them of their worth. “The best progress happens when you apply what you’ve learned outside that setting, in your real life.” A reminder from Alicia H. Clark, Psy.D.
- Suggest For Them To See A Professional
As a friend, you can do a lot for someone who is suffering from anxiety. However, when you notice that your friend may need more help than you can offer, suggest that they see a professional for additional support. Assure them that there is nothing shameful about doing this and that it will help them immensely.
It is essential to learn more about what you can do for people who are going through anxiety attacks. When they are in the state of panic, their minds are crowded, and it may fool them into thinking or doing harmful things. Learn all the essential information you need to know so that you can be of help to a person in need of it.
Be aware of what you can suggest for them to do, or shouldn’t do so that they may be able to handle things better. You can also help them by joining them as they create better ways to cope with their anxiety.
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Social media offers much convenience to anyone who owns an account. It makes finishing job faster through collaborating with other people with the use of online chat. It is also an avenue to sell or buy things with ease.
Social media is a game changer not only for relationships with people but also for the global market as well. However, using these platforms has its advantages and disadvantages.
We are living in a time where social media reigns supreme. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat. These are some of the tools of the trade. If you want to be a social media “influencer,” you have to update each site almost every day.
Every post, like, and the picture has a meaning. Moreover, the lack thereof has a purpose too. Complying with this system can also be overbearing for people who tend to think a lot.
Depression comes in any form, it could be the sudden irritation one feels in between a pleasant conversation or it could be that feeling of helplessness in the middle of the night. It’s that force that triggers one’s strength.