Depression is a common mental disorder. Globally, more than 266 million people of all ages suffer from depression.
- No one is happy or joyful all of the time.
- If you are like most people you have had days where you have felt depressed.
- You may feel a little weepy or feel sorry for yourself. This can be related to an incident that has happened in your life or for no particular reason.
Seasonal Affective Disorder
Some say that we get depressed because of the weather. There is even a mental disorder called seasonal affective disorder that is supposed to be triggered by a lack of light.
Therefore, depression is tough to define. It could be different things for different people.
A person with a negative personality, for example, may seem depressing a lot more than a person who is always positive. This is why it throws you for a loop when the person who is always positive jumps off a bridge and the person who is always negative is still around. Depression is not always easy to spot. It is different for each individual.
Clinical depression is a serious illness. People who are clinically severely depressed usually try to commit suicide at one point in their lives and sometimes they succeed. They find it difficult to maintain jobs or relationships.
They tend to look at the glass half empty which is an old cliche but rings true with those who suffer from depression.
People who are severely depressed for long periods are diagnosed with clinical depression. This is one of the major reasons why many people are disabled in the United States. Back pain and clinical depression claim most of the disability claims in the U.S. Each year a person who is clinically depressed cannot snap out of it.
It can be frustrating for loved ones to watch a person in this condition as the instinct is to shake them and tell them to snap out of it. We tell them how grateful they should be for everything that they have and point to people who have it far worse.
We may as well be talking to a wall that clinically depressed people cannot just decide to not be depressed one day they realize that there are others far worse off than them but it doesn’t make them feel any better. This type of therapy that is often given to the depressed can do more harm than good. It makes the person who is suffering from depression feel as though he or she is being self-indulgent.
Some people take it a step further and accuse the depressed person of seeking attention. This is also damaging to the psyche of a depressed person particularly because depression is so closely related to self-esteem issues, depression comes in many different forms for each individual it will most likely manifest itself by making a person who suffers from this illness lethargic and not interested in doing everyday things.
The person who suffers from depression may not like to do anything they may sleep too much or not at all. They may feel angry and lash out at people. A lot of the time they may also feel angry with themselves. In some cases, a person will go through the motions of everyday life without any joy. They seem almost like an empty shell.
They look for any type of relief from this state that they can get which is one reason why so many people abuse drugs and alcohol. Also, you may or may not realize that someone is suffering from depression.
A person may appear listless and not have any energy or they may put on a really good front.
Now let’s look at these sad cases of people who had depression who are Marilyn and Jimmy everyone used to call Maryland the Grim Reaper.
She was always dark and moody. She used to talk about death. A lot of the time and is also drinking to excess. She went from doctor to doctor to try to get help for her depression. Marilyn used to say that depression was like a dark cloud that followed her around. If you knew Marilyn you could almost see the cloud. She walked slumped over and never seemed happy. Even after she began seeing the doctor for severe depression, she still never seemed to spruce up Marilyn’s family said that she had been depressed most of her life. Coincidentally Marilyn’s mother had committed suicide when Marilyn was a little girl. Her mother was also clinically and severely depressed when she was 30 years old. Marilyn took an overdose of barbiturates that had been prescribed for anxiety and washed them down with whiskey. A friend found her body the next day after phone calls went unanswered. None of her friends or family was that shocked that Marilyn killed herself. She didn’t even leave a note.
Jimmy was one of the most popular kids in high school. He was a gifted athlete who had a full scholarship to his dream college. He had a ton of friends in school and a girl who he also liked all his life. Things seemed to come easy to Jimmy. He exceeded its sports which made him well-liked throughout his school career. It also made his parents very proud of him. Jimmy’s parents had just gotten divorced after a long and strained marriage. Jimmy and a sister were both upset about the divorce and missed their father who had moved out of the family house. But Jimmy appeared happy on his last day of school the day before high school graduation. Looking back on that day most of his friends realized that they had been left clues. They just didn’t pick up on them that day. When Jimmy went home, he parked his car in the garage and left it running while shutting the garage door. His sister was at a friend’s house. Jimmy knew she was going to be gone and that his mother was at work. He knew no one would find him until it was too late and he was right. Jimmy left a note. It told his parents that he had been depressed for some time and that a suicide had nothing to do with the divorce. He felt that he had a good life and at the age of 17 felt that it was time for him to move on. The news of the suicide devastated Jimmy’s family as well as his friends.
The entire school was affected thousands of people went to the wake where his stunned parents sat in disbelief. His sister who found his body was also there. The entire family was in shock as was the school. No one saw it coming.
As you can see depression is not always evident. Some people walk around like Marilyn. All of the time, but have no intention of ever killing themselves. Some people appear to have everything going for them and then suddenly do something drastic like Jimmy.
You can never tell only the person who is experiencing depression can help themselves. Parents of a person who is depressed can take them to the doctor and the doctor may even prescribe medication. But if the young person will not take the medication or when they reach a certain age or refuse to take the pills they cannot be helped. They may even like Jimmy realizes that there is a lot of attention placed on depression and decide to hide it so that no one finds out.
Contrary to what you may think not everyone who suffers from depression has suicidal thoughts. Most just have thoughts of emptiness and despair. They don’t want to die but don’t want to leave either. They may try to get help for themselves like Marilyn or may deny that there is anything wrong at all with them. Like Jimmy in a short depression has many different forms and takes on a different meaning for each person.
No one is sure why some people suffer from chronic depression and others do not. Most of us, however, at one time in our lives will deal with the depression of some sort.
How you deal with depression is up to you.
Hopefully, the more you realize that it is an illness that can be treated in several different ways you will try to fight the depression and not give in to the dark feelings that may overpower you.