Understanding Depression: The Silent Killer
Depression is a mental illness that can be difficult to understand. When most people think of depression, they only picture the sadness and isolation that it brings.
In this blog post, we will explore other symptoms associated with depression so you can better identify if someone in your life is suffering from an episode of this debilitating disorder.
It’s no one’s fault
The first thing you need to understand about depression is that it is not necessarily triggered by something. There are a lot of people who feel depressed even when they are in a good situation. This is because depression can be caused by chemical imbalances and other factors specific to the individual.
If you think of the common cold, it makes sense to us why someone would feel sick on some days but fine others. However, depression is not a physical ailment as much as a mental and behavioral one.While this mood disorder can be caused by external factors such as stress or trauma, some individuals are simply born with a predisposition for developing clinical depression later in life.
The symptoms can be hard to detect
With symptoms such as loss of appetite, insomnia, and lack of concentration, many people mistake the signs of depression as other illnesses like cancer or the flu. If you know someone who experiences any combination of these symptoms for more than two weeks, they may need to be evaluated by a licensed medical professional.
Many people who suffer from depression do not outwardly show their suffering, so it is important to look for signs in the way that your loved ones behave on a daily basis. Depression can cause people to withdraw from friends and family or seem more irritable than usual without reason; however, those who are suffering from depression may not realize these behavioral changes themselves.
In some cases, it can be as simple as noticing a friend eating less or spending more time alone in their room to know that they might need help outside of what you can provide for them emotionally.
Depression is dangerous
The most important thing to remember about understanding depression is that it can be a very dangerous illness. If you think someone might be suffering from depression, they could become suicidal without warning and may need medical attention to ensure their safety.
Treatment goals for depression
In addition to understanding depression, it is also important to remember that there are treatment goals for depression.
One common goal of therapy is the reduction or elimination of depressive symptoms. In some cases, a person will be prescribed medication in an effort to correct any chemical imbalances in their brain; however, other methods such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, psychotherapy, and/or lifestyle changes can be effective in reducing depression.
Providing a safe environment
If you suspect someone you care about is suffering from depression, it’s important that you provide a safe environment in which they feel comfortable sharing what they are experiencing. By understanding this mental disorder from both perspectives, you can provide the support your loved one needs to recover.
Returning to the world without the illness
The final goal of treating depression is to help a person fully return to the world. It can be difficult for someone who has been suffering from clinical depression for years to suddenly find themselves feeling better, so it is important that you do not force your loved ones into activities or interactions they are uncomfortable with. Forcing them to do something they are not ready for can cause them to retreat from their support system and begin experiencing depressive symptoms again.
In the end, it is important to understand that not everyone who suffers from a mental illness wants someone else to take care of them and provide for all their needs without ever being able to reciprocate. In order to help your loved one start managing their own symptoms of depression, you must be willing to give them the space they need while also being available for support if and when they ask.