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Depression has long been present in our world, affecting individuals across generations.

While some individuals openly discuss their struggles with depression, others feel a sense of shame surrounding it.

Statistics reveal that a staggering 1 in 4 individuals grapple with severe depression.

Some have encouraged me to share my journey through the ups and downs, akin to a rollercoaster. Initially hesitant, I now recognize the value of sharing my experiences and encouraging others to do the same.

Depression takes on diverse forms, respecting the varying degrees of intensity that people encounter.

Reflecting, I acknowledge the multitude of pathways that depression can take. Understanding the severity spectrum is essential.

In bygone eras, any mental disorder often triggered shame and repulsion within families. Regrettably, this often led to individuals being ostracized or confined to facilities.

struggles with depression,

I’ve encountered a few people who have dealt with this horrible illness. Some would say they can speak openly about it and feel that they have officially admitted that they are dealing with this; they feel so much better. Others close themselves in from the world and hide the truth.

I, for one, did that for quite some time, and if it ever did come up in a conversation about my mood, people would say, “Well, come on! Just be happy“. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as that. I was diagnosed with depression back in 2012.

It was a year of moving cities, a new job, a new life. Many people didn’t understand how I acted towards them – being quiet and excluding myself from conversations. I just wanted to be alone and do my own thing.

My confidence dropped, and my social skills were non-existent, much like my appetite. I never spoke to anybody about it as I knew it would be a case of people not understanding.

Outsiders would see I had friends, great family support, and a nice place to live. Why would I have a reason to be unhappy? When I decided it was time to open up about my depression, I got some hurtful comments.

StatementsDescription
“Just get over it.”I was inquiring about the use of prescribed medication.
“Just get over it.”Simplistic advice to overcome feelings of sadness.
“Just be happy.”Inquiring about the use of prescribed medication.
“Have you taken your medication?”“You’re just having a bad day.”
Minimizing feelings by attributing them to a day’s challenges.Encouragement to adopt a more positive attitude.
“Cheer up.”Accusation of self-centeredness despite struggles.

Whenever I get upset or annoyed, people often ask, “Have you managed to take your medication today?” It’s as if they believe a simple pill can erase all my troubles – I wish it were that easy! I’m sharing this because I know there are countless others in similar situations, yet we each navigate the challenges of this world in our unique ways.

One thing I’ve come to realize is that authenticity prevails. You might possess abundant wealth, enjoy a thriving career, and be surrounded by a fantastic circle of friends and family, yet the guilt of feeling low can be overwhelming. You might be surprised to learn that a turning point for me was the arrival of my ragdoll kitten in 2013 – a Christmas gift from my boyfriend.

Suddenly, it wasn’t just me against the world; I had a sweet, cuddly kitten who relied on me. I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything. She became a shining star in my life, reminding me of the underestimated power of pets. It’s not always about relying on medication and therapy. Surrounding yourself with things that bring joy can be a potent strategy. It’s a journey of progress, not an instant cure.

Many people enduring this struggle lack someone to confide in. The unsettling reality is that numerous individuals silently battle depression. Outward appearances can deceive; the well-dressed, seemingly content people we pass on the street may be masking their pain. Remember, just because you can’t visibly see “depression” doesn’t mean it’s absent.

You’re the driver of your own life’s car. You have the choice to navigate the roads that resonate with you. If your job is a source of unhappiness, consider finding something that fulfils you – perhaps travel, a new hobby, or engaging in workshops.

It’s a journey that takes time, but understanding that you’re not alone and identifying the sources of your unhappiness is the crucial first step. From there, progress unfolds.

What does it feel like to be depressed?

The feeling of depression is more profound, longer and more unpleasant than the short episodes of unhappiness that everyone experiences occasionally. You will notice:

Symptoms of DepressionDescription
Persistent sadness or low moodFinding it more challenging to make decisions
Not being able to enjoy thingsInability to find pleasure or satisfaction in activities.
Losing interest in lifeLack of enthusiasm or engagement in daily life.
Inability to handle once manageable tasks.Struggles with making choices or decisions.
Not coping with things that used to be easyDecreased interest or passion for sexual activity.
Feeling exhaustedOverwhelming tiredness or fatigue.
Feeling restless and agitatedUnsettled emotions and restlessness.
Loss of appetite and weightReduced desire to eat and unintended weight loss.
Difficulties getting to sleepTrouble falling asleep or staying asleep.
Loss of sex driveDecreased interest or desire for sexual activity.
Thoughts of self-harm or suicideContemplating or considering self-harm or suicide.

Doctors grade depression as mild, moderate, and severe to help them choose treatment. One thing that profoundly helped me (along with my Ragdoll–Pancakes) is my family support.

I know how fortunate I am. Unfortunately, not everyone has the same, and some people have had to take drastic measures for people to realize what’s going on.

Depression

It’s all about support, being open and honest, and even if some people don’t understand you 100%, you can feel so much better about yourself for being honest about the situation and being open, and you don’t feel alone. Sometimes, opening up and having someone listen is just what you need.

Facts & Stats on DepressionDescription
The initial appearance of significant depression typically occurs during this age range.Depression can affect anyone, regardless of their background or circumstances.
Ten times more people suffer from major depression now than in 1945.The prevalence of major depression has significantly increased over the years.
The average age of the first onset of major depression is 25–29.Depression has different triggers. People have a higher risk of depression if they’ve recently been through a stressful life event, if they’ve had depression in the past, or if a close family member has been depressed. Sometimes, depression develops without any apparent cause.
Up to 80% of suicide deaths are in sufferers of major depression.Depression is a significant factor in many suicide cases.
Depression has different triggers. People have a higher risk of depression if they’ve recently been through a stressful life event, if they’ve had depression in the past, or if a close family member has been depressed. Sometimes, depression develops without any apparent cause.Various factors can contribute to the development of depression.
Depression has different triggers. People have a higher risk of depression if they’ve recently been through a stressful life event, if they’ve had depression in the past, or if a close family member has been depressed. Sometimes depression develops without any apparent cause.Depressed individuals might not exhibit outward signs of their internal struggle.
About a quarter of suicides in the US are felt to be due to undiagnosed or misdiagnosed major depression.Undiagnosed or misdiagnosed depression can contribute to a significant number of suicides.
Depressed people might not look depressed. “Depression is a hidden illness,” says Jeremy Coplan, MD, professor of psychiatry at SUNY Downstate in New York. Some people can seem upbeat and cheerful, but on the inside, they’re struggling with the symptoms of depression.Depression can hinder the ability to engage with others. Taking steps to heal and seek understanding can be beneficial.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you or anyone you know needs help. You are not alone. Feel free to contact the following resources or send me a message for a chat:

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