Depression is the all over the news right now; it has attained its epidemic status primarily because of its sinister and hidden nature.
People fail to recognise the signs and also fail to speak out and seek help while there is still time.
Recognising the signs early might be the difference between saving or losing a loved one; worse, it might be you who doesn’t realise that it’s not just boredom or sadness but depression, something that just doesn’t go away.
There is fine line between being sad and being a patient of depression: the former can be cured if the conditions are reversed/ with happier times. The latter is a clinical disease and requires help to be cured and doesn’t just go with a couple of pegs or a night of wild sex.
The first line of defence, and to be honest the only one, is to recognise the signs in the people you love while you have time.
This list might help:
1. They hide their symptoms, not their anxieties
Patients of depression have a sense of floating free in a vast ocean with no control in their lives. They cling to whatever little semblance of control hence.
Consequently, they will hide their symptoms like Smaug guarded his horde. They show their anxiety but not their symptoms, as anxiety is a far more common thing and helps them fit in.
2. They are often anxious about their own anxiety
The fear of others seeing their irrational panic makes them panic even more.
3. They are outgoing yet introverted, very social but rarely outdoors
They like company in measured, timely doses.
4. They make things worse for themselves by suppressing their feelings
Pity from others makes them lose it, because their aim is to have the reins of their life in their own hands, to conform and not be treated differently.
As a result they stifle their feelings and problems further trying to hide them from the prying eyes of people.
5. They are talented and expressive; often in unexpected ways
I had a friend (let’s call him Joey) who was on anti-depressants for about 6 years. He could decorate aquariums like no other; from sand castles to canyons, wherever you wanted your goldfish to live, he would do it for you, with a smile like no other.
6. Abnormal sleeping and eating habits
This is because their brain works in different ways than we expect. Because they spend much more time overthinking, their sleep and hunger cycles are often messed up.
7. They are perpetually searching for a purpose in life
This is one of the many ways in which they try and cope with feelings of inadequacy and crippling anxiety.
8. They are thinkers and problem-savers
Since their perpetual state is an ongoing battle to keep negative feelings and worst case scenarios at bay, they are very adept at handling tricky situations.
They are especially handy when it comes to group projects that require a certain degree of imagination.
9. They don’t trust easily, but they sure are great at convincing others that they do
Pretences are a livelihood and the depressed are good at it.
They cannot trust but they will convince you that you are their confidante just to keep you from prying.
10. They seek love and acceptance while assuming they are hated by everyone
They are just wary; not stubborn or snobbish.
Their demons don’t let them accept the fact that people care about them or love them, because they think they aren’t worth it.
11. They desire control
Like discussed before, control or any semblance of it is desirable to them.
12. They are smart but often doubtful
Crippling self-doubt that doesn’t let them see their better sides, is their constant in life.
13. They are self-regulating individuals
They constantly censor and check themselves to conform and be accepted more.
14. Subtle cries for help
It’s very easy to overlook these as they will try to hide their moments of weakness from everyone. Trust and help from friends and family at these crucial moments can make a lot of difference.
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