What is depression? Let’s define it according to DSM V Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders)
“It is having a depressed mood or a loss of interest or pleasure in daily activities for more than two weeks. Mood represents a change from the person’s baseline.Impaired function: social, occupational, educational. Specific symptoms, at least 5 of these 9, present nearly every day: Depressed mood or irritable, Decreased interest or pleasure, Significant weight change (5%) or change in appetite, Change in sleep, Change in activity, Fatigue or loss of energy, Guilt/worthlessness, Concentration and Suicidality.”
You can check out this link for more information:
If you think you are reading exactly what you are feeling now in your current mental health status based on DSM-V, I strongly suggest you seek help.
Many people overuse the term “depressed” for situations not even measurable to the meaning of it. If you think you are depressed just because the girl/boy you like doesn’t love you back, wherein in this season of your life, you might still have to focus on your studies, then don’t mistake depression for a petty drama.
Don’t also mistake sadness with depression. Sadness is a normal emotional response of people. Depression is a disorder. Depressed people are being inhumanely lifted out of the choice to be happy even if they want to. They couldn’t just “snap out of it” just like many people advice depressed people to do so. People die because of it because they couldn’t just “snap out of it.” If they could, I tell you, they will surely do everything to be free from the sting of depression. Depression is not merely an emotion, but also a physiological imbalance through hormonal changes.
Imagine a person you loved with all of your heart. And then, you suddenly feel as if you no longer desire intimacy with that person. The fire of love seems as if someone has poured cold water to put it out. You turned cold on the relationship. No longer you seemed to be the person your other half has loved or met.
It feels as if dark clouds keep following you wherever you go. It seems that you are trapped in an overwhelming feeling of dread and sadness that even a good morning sunshine doesn’t seem to help you to feel better. Every good thing in the world seems an irony of how you feel towards it. Your real self, out of the picture of depression, seems to be drowning, shouting for help but no one notices you. No hope. Endless pain. Plain emptiness.
Depression is a serious matter. Being diagnosed with a mental disorder is no different being diagnosed with a terminal illness. It takes the life out of you. You are left to be like a living dead. It imprisons the person you once used to be.
So, next time you bump on to someone you know who is undergoing depression, don’t just assume to say an advice that works for you. Instead, give them a hug or a tap in the back while telling them you are always there for them. The message in an action speaks louder than million of words. The gesture of care will make them feel significant and close to you. It will sure do make them feel way better. Lend your ears to listen to their innermost feelings. Speak words of life over their situation. The positive transference coming from your encouragement will make a big impact to loosen up the tightness of their struggle. Encourage them to seek professional help that will make them be directed on the sure way of recovering from their illness. You don’t necessarily need to have a deep knowledge about psychology to help put a stepping stone from someone else’s path to recovery. But, all you need is to have a genuine love and care to go the extra mile to understand their needs.
If you are asking, “How sure are you that this is exactly what a depressed person feels?”
Well, it could be different or even worse for other people who are depressed. But there is no more legitimate source that I can dig out, other than my own experience swimming my way out of it through the help of people extending their hands when I almost drowned of depression.