DepressionGriefSelf CareSocial Anxiety

Depression: What it is and How We Deal with It

Depression: A Murderer that Lives Inside Us

Depression yin-yang

How should we deal with depression? This menacing melancholic mood that mutilates men’s minds?

Breaking down what breaks us down

Depression is a dangerous emotion. We can envision it as a scythe that slowly chips you away from the inside. Only few people can notice this, and the pain is so powerful, you feel like you can’t do anything about it.

Eventually, it kills you.

This “scythe” is just like sadness, but it hurts more and lasts longer. It goes without saying that sadness is a part of living; but, as like everything else, it will fade into the past. We often think too much about the low points in our life: a death, a lost opportunity, failures, days when everything just didn’t go as we had hoped. This affects how we think, feel, behave, and how we evaluate our lives, overall changing who we are and affecting our relationships.

Depression creates stress, which releases large amounts of stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, eventually wrecking your nervous system through a cyclic adrenaline rush. It can cause oxidative damage to tissues in the body that leads to inflammation, triggering symptoms such as headache, ulcer, allergies, and diminished sexual desire. In addition, it also accelarates aging and damages brain tissue, as well as creating those suicidal thoughts.

So how do we remove this literal block in our life?

Convalescence takes time. We need to be strong, optimistic, and appreciative of all the little joys around us. However, there are some moments when we stumble, fall, and return to where we were before. Asking for assistance from someone you know never hurts.

Whenever you or someone else feels like the whole world is about to end, remember these:

  • Terrible things can happen, but you cannot change them nor deny their occurrence. You can only treat them as remnants of your past and keep walking into the future.
  • Don’t let one bad event ruin your life; the world is full of blessings that you either disregarded or haven’t encountered yet.
  • Tough times don’t last, but tough people do. If you failed, try again; if you made a huge mistake, brush it off and do better next time. And, if you were recently bereaved, don’t let them see you waste your life after they have just lost theirs. One day, you will all be reunited, hopefully not too soon.

Some activities that can diminish depression, given that we have not yet succumbed to helplessness, include:

  • Talking it out. Sometimes we simply need a friend to listen to all our anguish and despair. Don’t well up all that bitterness inside; ask somebody else to share the weight with you.
  • Entertaining our hobbies. When we do something we like, we tend to forget all about everything else. Plus, it makes us happy! Better yet, try something new.
  • Preserving our physical health. Mental and physical health go together. Eat healthily, exercise, and get enough sleep.
  • Socializing. Communicating with the world can help your mind ease up. Join a club, hang out with friends or family, or volunteer for charity. Any activity that involves verbal exchanges is like a free visit to the psychiatrist.
  • Watching comedy. Whether it’s a live stand-up performance or a YouTube video, anything that makes us laugh will make us forget those sad moments.

Despite these, depression is not easy to discard. You will need all the help you can get: from people you know, from professionals, from articles on the internet. It may take a long time, but recovering from it doesn’t mean you can’t pursue happiness in the meantime.

So keep in mind: Although life may seem cruel, it can also be full of happy memories. All you have to do is be brave enough to get up and make them.

 

Wondering if someone has depression? Click here for more information.

 

References:

Salmans, Sandra (1997). Depression: Questions You Have – Answers You Need. People’s Medical Society.

Sinatra, Stephen (2007). What Stress Can Do to Your BodyRetrieved from https://heartmdinstitute.com.

Griffin, Morgan (2015). 10 Natural Depression Treatments. Retrieved from webmd.com

 

8 Comments

  1. An interesting article. I like how you have touched upon the chemicals and hormones responsible for depression. It may not be useful in curing depression, but it definitely provides some comfort knowing that the feelings of apathy and hopelessness are unavoidable as long as the chemical imbalance remains.

    It is very helpful that you have introduced several activities that could be done to help combat depression, but I think you have missed out the most important of all, which is the need for routine. When suffering from depression, it is easy for the days and weeks to pass by with nothing changing. Perhaps it would be helpful to add some specific ideas for comedy shows, hobbies and other social activities that can be implemented to the daily routine.

    For example, joining a book club could be a fantastic hobby because it is a low-energy environment where you have the opportunity to talk when you want to, and remain silent the other times. On the flip-side, perhaps an improv group is not a good hobby to start with because it is unlikely to be a skill someone is good at from the get-go. An unhelpful hobby could therefore make the situation even worse. This is why I think it would improve the article to include some specific ideas with the pros and cons of each so that, depending on how bad the depression is, people can opt to attend certain activities

  2. Thank you. I shall refurnish the article as soon as I can. As of today I am still a new writer for this site and am trying to do my best, so all kinds of feedback is appreciated.

  3. I really like the article Kevin Q. I like how you gave a biological stand point of what happens to the brain and body when one is experiencing depression. The examples you gave that can cause one to be depress are good, although those are external cues or environmental. What about internal cues? Depression can be a genetic disorder and for those individual depression it is a bit more complex. Acknowledging that aspect and letting your reader know that depression comes in many forms and for each individual it is a different experience is essential to understanding the complexity. We are individuals, we all perceive stimuli differently. In addition, in one of your section heading you mentioned, “Whenever you or someone else feels like the whole world is about to end…” Honestly that statement is inaccurate. Not everyone who experiences depression feels like the world is going to end (seems a bit stereotypical). Individuals who are depress tend to experience a perception of realism (perceiving the world with a more objective, realistic, and unbiased mind), however, this method of thinking contributes to their cycle of negative thoughts, since all they see is the truth or shittiness the world truly is.

    1. I like how you pointed out that this article could use an explantion of depression also being a genetic disorder.

      I think it would be good practice for the article written about mental illness include the multipath model of psychology in providing information regarding different reasons why mental illness happen.

      1.Psychological
      2. Biological
      3.Social
      4. Social cultural

  4. The article had the right idea, however, I feel as though it missed major points. I didn’t like how you referred to depression as an emotion, I think that takes away it’s seriousness in all honesty, and I believe it treated it too much like “a bad week” when it’s so much more. I really appreciate the thought put into this, and it was a well-structured article, I just think it could’ve done more to educate people on the topic. More people need to realize what depression is, and feels like, and this is certainly a step in the right direction, but it could’ve made a bigger splash in my opinion. Overall it was an interesting read, but I don’t think it captured the information needed for someone to fully understand it’s ravages.

  5. Speaking from experience, depression is considered an aftermath of an occurrence because it is usually the result of an emotion. For instance, someone is angry about a low grade he/she received. After a while, he/she may be drained due to the anger and this could lead to a bout of depression, or the lack of desire to do something that is done on a normal day. I’m no expert but I know that depression occurs from the lack of something (mainly social). Anyway, I love the suggestions since I practiced some of them daily. Another suggestion that I was referred to do is to write a journal of gratitude daily or weekly.

    1. Depression is like a spiral, I believe you are correct when you say its the aftermath of something like a negative emotion.

      In your brain, you have millions of connections to other events, emotions, and memories. When you bring forward this emotion, every other thing that also shares this emotion comes up.
      Example:
      You did bad on a test, this disappointment reminds you of when you were disappointed with your friend for lying to you in highschool, which makes you mad at your friend, which makes you distrust of people, and then you remember everyone else that’s made you mad, then you start wondering if it’s your fault there are so many people you distrust. Something must be wrong with you now, its because you’re a failure, PROOF, you just failed your test.

      It’s much more than this, but this is kinda how it happens, and it’s because of the way our brain is wired through our semantic network, which is like a concept map of all your experiences in life.

      One of the things that helped my depression, and I’m still learning how to get better, but mindfulness, labeling your thoughts, the why’s, has been helpful.

  6. First of all, I would like to commend the Author for a good strong opener! Alliteration always makes me happy! Well played.

    On to more substantive commentary…

    I really enjoy this article! At first I was worried the topic was too vague, to grand to tackle in short-form. However, the Author handled it very well. Made a good strong case for the essence and jist of Depression in a general sense. Good imagery with the Scythe metaphor, it’s jarring, and makes it feel heavier. Which is it, and should be. And the subsequent Physiological breakdown was informative and helped bring a sense of medical legitimacy, which sometimes, seems lacking in the realms of Mental Health. Our minds and bodies are inherently and irrevocably interconnected.

    I love your sense of affirmation and validation in this;

    “We need to be strong, optimistic, and appreciative of all the little joys around us. However, there are some moments when we stumble, fall, and return to where we were before. Asking for assistance from someone you know never hurts.”

    This is so very true, and we all need to hear it as many times, in as many iterations as possible. Normalize, habituate and internalize optimism, love and the ability to find the ‘Silver Lining’ around any cloud is so important! We must do what we can to drive this message home, to our loved ones, friends and family. But also, to ourselves.

    Lastly, I love your bulleted lists of Things to Remember, and self-healing Activities! Very well written, and absolutely on point. You have a great outlook on life, and I appreciate you taking time to help those who may not even know they needed help. Being sad is pretty normal, now and again. Depression is a wholly different existence.

    Great work Kevin! Very enjoyable Article.

    -Josh

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