Here’s How You Can Spot Signs Of Depression And Help Your Loved Ones
From social media statuses to long WhatsApp messages, everyone is talking about mental health these day, and you know what? It’s absolutely necessary and it shouldn’t have to take an unfortunate event for us to prioritise it.
We should willingly and openly discuss depression and know that it is a serious topic that has to be dealt with respect and care. Bollywood personalities like Deepika Padukone and Karan Johar has openly spoken about depression, with Deepika even starting her own foundation to help those in need, the Live Love Laugh Foundation.
We all feel lonely at some point in our lives, we all get stressed and, trust me, no problem is too small so never let anyone tell you that. Whether it is a bad relationship, failure in academics, an unsatisfying job, the loss of a loved one, or even low self-esteem, if it is affecting you, it is wrong, and you must try and deal with it.
And you don’t have to do it alone; whether you believe it or not, there is always someone out there who’s ready to lend a helping hand. A friend, family member, colleague, pen friend, that composed voice on the other side of the helpline — all you have to do is stretch out your hand for the other person to take it.
Anything can trigger sadness and make you feel low, that induces negative thoughts which may make you feel like ending your life is the only option. But it never is.
We can take steps to handle depression, prevent suicidal thoughts, and help each other out, help our friends and family, and let them know that it is a beautiful life, that they are cared for and important and that they are not alone.
But more often than not, people suffering from depression don’t talk about it and suffer silently. If you are reading this and recognise some of the symptoms listed below, take action. Or, if you think anyone you know may be going through this, please talk to them ASAP. Please.
1. There is a gradual decrease in social interaction. They don’t want to meet friends, hang out, talk to anyone, and withdraw from all social media platforms. Basically, they go MIA — that’s your first clue.
2. Insomnia, especially if the person would earlier sleep like a baby. Sleepless nights, an irritable nature, getting worked up about the smallest of things, are subtle hints of something being wrong.
3. Changes in appetite is another indication and can work both ways — either the person starts eating too much or loses all interest in food. Both are unhealthy and need attention.
4. Losing interest in doing things that were earlier enjoyable to them is a major sign. If they were happy doing it before, why would they stop now?
5. If a friend starts feeling that he/she is worthless and feels like they don’t belong, please take it as a big red signal and help them. If their social media posts and statuses indicate some negativity, do something about it.
And here are some of the steps that you can take:
1. Be patient with them, as it is exhausting to be depressed and they will need all the support they can get. Never let them think that they are a burden. Make sure they know that they can call you at 4 am, if need be. Be that friend. A warm hug can cure scars, know this.
2. Gift them a diary and encourage them to write down their feelings. It helps a lot to recognise and get in touch with the roots of the cause. Please let them talk and never shame them for having these thoughts.
3. Take them on a trip, as there is nothing better than a getaway to let go of any negative thoughts that may be plaguing their minds. Get some perspective on life.
4. Positively encourage them to talk to a counsellor or meet a therapist. Let them know that there is nothing wrong with it. To hell with the society and their judgement.
5. If they don’t want to reveal their identity, you can share the numbers of these helplines with them to get professional help.
Aasra – 2789-3756
One Life – +91-78930 78930
Saath – 26305544
It is a sensitive matter and taking a small step towards someone suffering from depression will go a long way in making someone’s life better. But do remember that if they still take a drastic step, it is not your fault — don’t feel guilty about not saving them, you did your best.