One common thing in this age and century is an increasing number of depressed people. People of all walks of life: young and old, rich and poor, educated and otherwise, are nursing depressed spirits and withering hopes. It was not common when I was a little boy, and it was reserved for people with overwhelming responsibilities. But the twenty-first century has come with its dose. We have depressed youths and teenagers, most of whom do not legally qualify to have responsibilities, and in case they do, it is self-appointed ones resulting from entanglements or eventualities of life which leave them in need to fend for themselves and little siblings. But whatever the cause, the baseline is that we are a depressed group of people, more than ever before.
The greatest challenge with depression is the ignorance and disinformation with which it is enshrouded. Most people do not know that they are depressed or that they are on a path towards depression. That is why many people cannot cry for help or reach out to professionals for counsel. No one wakes up one day and decides on committing suicide, or dropping out of school, or running away from home. The fact is that people go through a cycle of maximization and minimization of life’s unpleasantness before they make a terrible and potentially catastrophic decision.
For depression, like all life-threatening issues, prevention is always better than cure. But the challenge is that most people just do not know that they are in the wrong direction and are pampering depressants. How can you know that you are on the path of depression?
Mood is a very important aspect of human well being. There are normal mood swings in human beings brought about by hormonal imbalance. This is especially in the lives of the females, especially depending on the periods of the month. But some anomalies such as anxiety, apathy, general discontent, guilt, hopelessness, loss of interest or pleasure in activities, abnormal mood swings, or sadness could signify that you are treading dangerous ground.
This has to do with mental functioning, especially one’s logical composition. The way you reason out issues, the kind of conclusions you reach, is not a simple thing. Lack of concentration, slowness in activity, or thoughts of suicide is major cognitive indicators of potential depression.
Sleep is a great tonic in general human wellness. A night of good sleep is therapeutic. However, if you begin to experience the following: early awakening, excess sleepiness, insomnia, or restless sleep, you should seek professional help. You could be on the path towards depression.
Your behaviour is equally a good factor to consider. People do not change behaviour at the speed of a camouflaging chameleon. It takes time to have a notable irreversible behaviour change, which could be due to exposure and change of environment. However, it should be something to be concerned about when you note unusual changes that tend to lean towards agitation, excessive crying, irritability, restlessness, or social isolation. It could be evidence that depression is knocking or that you are depressed.
Other signs could be excessive hunger, fatigue, loss of appetite, and weight gain or weight loss. When you see such, it could be a sign to seek immediate help from a professional. Information is power, but information acted upon is invincible. Let us be deliberate in checking on our friends and relatives. When you see something unusual, don’t ignore it. We may make a great difference in the fight against depression by being proactive and deliberate to subside the depressants of life.