Dummies Guide To Mental Health: Depression
Posted On 7th April, 2017 @ 20:00 pm by MTV Editor

Chapter 1

What is it, exactly?

Depression is not just “feeling low”, it’s a persistent feeling of gloom and doom. A common but serious mental illness, depression affects your thoughts and intensifies negative emotions. And it lasts for what seems like ever, making you lose interest in things you otherwise really like, and wiping you of all your energy. So you want to stay in bed a lot. And you don’t really feel like talking very much. The good news? It’s treatable.  





What caused it?

Depression can be hereditary, related to characteristic traits, or caused by chemical imbalance. A traumatic event like the loss of a loved one, or long-term exposure to extended unemployment, abusive and uncaring relationships, isolation…there’s a lot of external factors that can trigger and contribute to depression.





What symptoms should I watch for?

- A persistent empty, hollow feeling

- Oversleep or lack of sleep

- Extreme laziness

- Irritability

- Muscle pain and cramps

- Caving in to avoid socialising

- Hopelessness and worthlessness

- Suicidal feelings




How do I interact with someone who is depressed? 

Listen to them. Let them speak, and acknowledge what they’re feeling without rubbishing it. Avoid offering advice. Educate yourself. Push them to seek therapy (because they often feel like nothing will ever work, including therapy), and see if you can accompany them. Instil confidence that you’ll be there, no matter what. Definitely don’t draw comparisons with people who have it worse. 





How can I fix this?

Reach out to the people in your life—you’ll be surprised how much they actually do care. Ask for help, there’s absolutely no shame in it. If you had a killer stomach ache, you’d find a way to fix it, right? Same thing. Only difference is the kind of doctor you have to find. Psychological cures include therapies that encourage rational thinking, engaging in pleasant and satisfying activities, and group activities. Psychiatric cures involve anti-depressant medication.





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