Depression truly is a silent killer. There may not be any clear manifestation of the disorder. The inner demons you’ve faced your entire life might be the indicator of an underlying problem. The fact that depression often goes unrecognized, it also means that it also goes undiagnosed.
To be a little more sentimental, some wounds cut too deep. They are so deep, they may not even be visible to the world. That doesn’t mean that they cease to cause pain. There are most probably two types of people who will read this article. Either you are trying to understand the struggle someone you know is going through, or you are trying to reflect on things you have experienced yourself. After all, we are social animals. The day we stop understanding each other, is the day we’ll finally lose it.
The behaviors listed below are markers for you to both understand yourself and appreciate the struggles of your loved ones.
To support someone, you really need to understand where they’re coming from:
- They make an effort to be ‘OK’
Remember that photo of Kurt Cobain goofing around at a birthday party with spaghetti on his head, just a month before he shot himself? Remember Kurt Cobain? If you are too young to remember Kurt Cobain, Google Nirvana. Try not getting depressed by that. But the point is depression doesn’t imply a constantly sad person. They try their best to put up a public persona to seem happy. Also being happy in one moment doesn’t mean you’re not facing depression within you.
- They have their ways to deal with it
People with depression also have their own ways of dealing with their emotions. Therapy is a serious cure yes, but people find ways of adapting like having a hobby. They might go for walks or listen to music.
- They fear losing people
Sometimes baring your inner-most struggles to the people around you can make them walk away. People deal with difficult things differently. That’s why people in depression develop a way of not letting others in for fear of abandonment.
- Cover stories
They are great at covering up what’s happening to them. From self-harm to skipping meals they become adept at hiding their pain. They are aware of the toll they take on others.
- Abnormal sleep and diet
Sleep and nutrition are keys to our health and it is under our control. A loss of control over one’s own life can make people lose control over their sleeping and eating patterns. Too much sleep or binge eating, or too little of both could be a sign of a serious problem.
- Substance Use
People in depression reach out to artificial methods to alter their moods often, be it alcohol, caffeine or even drugs.
- They are preoccupied with Death
While not every depressed person is suicidal, they have a tendency to think over their own mortality a lot more. The question of life and death is always very personal for them.
- They are Artists
Are you done Googling Kurt Cobain? People with depression tend to be creative in terms of finding powerful means to express themselves even through (or because of) the shadows of their emotional states.
- They seek meaning
The difficulties they face in their own lives make them strive to find a purpose in their lives. This striving can become a defining part of their personality.
- Cries for help
Whatever they say, it’s never safe to leave a person with depression to deal with it on their own. Look over their lives and you will find subtle cries for help. They need love and support to get better.
- They Want To Be Loved
Like every other person on this planet they want to be loved and accepted. The only way to gain it is to spread it. Never turn away from a person who’s struggling. Love when it’s difficult. Cry when you need to. Reach out when someone closes the door. Open your heart, even if it feels terrifying. If we keep forcing the bad to go unseen, the good will also go unseen.