Health and vitality is very much a mental and emotional state. You can “eat clean and train dirty” all you like and though it may have a positive effect on your body, if your emotional state is not positive you will struggle to attain optimal health.
Or if you are depressed you may not even be able to take the steps to help yourself in terms of getting the other health aspects of your life resolved.
According to the World Health Organisation, more than 350 million people world wild are affected by depression. In fact it is likely everyone reading this is either depressed or is close to someone who suffers from depression.
I am not a doctor or medical professional but from someone personally affected by depression my message today is one of awareness and compassion.
I personally spent a year on psychiatric meds for depression.
I was near suicidal and life had no joy or meaning. I always thought that medication was a joke. I mean how could some pills make you feel better. My girlfriend at the time was kind enough to basically force me to go and see a psychiatrist. I went onto medication and I was amazed that within 3 days I was a new person. Able to make decisions again and see some light.
The reasons in my case were situational due to a string of unfortunate events in my life and after a year I went off the meds and have been fine ever since.
That was 7 years ago. Just a year before that time my father went into a depression and attempted to commit suicide. Thank goodness he failed. It was probably the hardest time of my life so far. The funny thing is that he was the last person on earth anyone would have expected it from.
My late mom was depressed her whole life.
I do not think people realize how debilitating depression can be.
I have a friend whose wife suffered from depression. He could not understand it. When she said she was depressed he would say “Well don’t be”. It might sound funny but it highlights an issue.
Signs you may be depressed:
- Sadness or depressed mood most of the day or almost every day
- Loss of enjoyment in things that were once pleasurable
- Major change in weight (gain or loss of more than 5% of weight within a month) or appetite
- Insomnia or excessive sleep almost every day
- Physical restlessness or sense of being rundown that is noticeable by others
- Fatigue or loss of energy almost every day
- Feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness or excessive guilt almost every day
- Problems with concentration or making decisions almost every day
- Recurring thoughts of death or suicide, suicide plan, or suicide attempt
In my experience with depression it seems like there is no light. Only darkness. Your thoughts are covered with a muddy veil. I lacked energy. I could not make decent decisions. I had no interest in sex. No interest in my partner. No joy at all. When you are in there is no rational thought and it seems there is no way out
Most of all I found you lose the ability to help yourself.
I am asking that you raise your awareness
1) To yourself. If you feel like you need help please seek it (https://www.sadag.org/)
2) The people closest to you. If you sense signs be prepared to understand and help
3) To strangers. Because you have no idea what that person is going through so always be kind.
The sad thing is that our society has painted depression as a weakness of character. As a fault or a defect. That is a tragedy.
Enough of that people. This is a disease.
If you have a cold or flu you go to the doctor without any embarrassment, so I urge you to feel the same way about seeking help if you suspect you may have a mental illness. There is no shame in it.
I think one of the biggest lessons to be taken from this, besides being more open about depression or mental illness, is to always be kind to people that you encounter daily. Their experience of you might be a catalyst for them. So be kind. Always.
Let’s help our friends.
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