Depression: Let’s Talk
Depression: Let’s Talk
“It was not really alarming at first, since the change was subtle, but I did notice that my surroundings took on a different tone at certain times: the shadows of nightfall seemed more somber, my mornings were less buoyant, walks in the woods became less zestful, and there was a moment during my working hours in the late afternoon when a kind of panic and anxiety overtook me…” – William Styron, Darkness Visible
What William Styron has put into words is what 36% percent of the Indian population goes through each day. Yes, we’re talking about Depression here. Depression creeps up on you slowly, eating away your enthusiasm and will to do any kind of work, and eventually even taking away your will to live, like it did to the famous actor, Robin Williams. You may be studying alongside a depressed person or be working with one in your office, but still not know about it. The signs of depression are subtle yet significant and spotting them at the right time might help you eventually save a life.
How Do You Spot Depression?
While depression often goes unnoticed, look out for these signs to help you determine if you, your friend or a close colleague are suffering from depression:
1. Changes in appetite
2. Withdrawal from social interaction
3. Loss of interest in things that used to be pleasurable
4. Lack of energy, difficulty concentrating or remembering things
5. Feeling worthless and helpless
How To Treat Depression?
Depression may make you feel like you’re living in a dark, inescapable shadow, but even the severest of depression cases are treatable. From therapy to medication to healthy lifestyle changes, there are many ways to overcome depression and reclaim your life.
Regular exercise can treat depression like medication. Not only does exercise boost serotonin and other feel-good brain chemicals, it triggers the growth of new brain cells and connections, just like antidepressants do.
Eating well is important for both your physical and mental health. Eating small, balanced meals throughout the day will help you keep your energy up and minimize mood swings.
Sleep deprivation heightens irritability, sadness and fatigue. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep each night. Aim for somewhere between seven to nine hours each night.
Strong social networks reduce isolation, a key risk factor for depression. Volunteering is a wonderful way to get social support and help others while you help yourself.
Too much stress worsens depression and puts you at risk for future depression. Identify your stress points, like work overload or unsupportive relationships, and find ways to minimize their impact.
People with depression often withdraw from social interactions and enter their own “shells”, which in turns worsens the situation as they have no one to talk to. Whi