Depression, that’s what I got; a depression.
I felt the need to write about this topic, because I think there are a lot of taboos around depression.
It is the disease that most affects society today and antidepressants are the most sold drugs in Portuguese Pharmacies. I don’t think there is anyone who doesn’t know someone, or even has a family member, who suffers from depression, so why not write about it?
It seems that there is no exact way to define the causes of depression, however there are many ways to manifest it, and yes, it is an illness. The part of the body that gets sick isn’t the leg, the intestines or the liver, it’s the brain, as simple as that.
I have met many people who are in contact with depression, a disease that has led me to make some changes in my life.
Like all choices in life, changes always have two sides, some things are lost, others are gained.
From my personal experience, I learned that:
Depression is a disease associated with an imbalance of certain chemicals in the brain. Heads up; depression is not sadness, it is much more complex than that. Common signs are: persistent discouragement, low self-esteem, feelings of worthlessness, emptiness, guilt, irritability, decreased ability to make decisions, changes in sleep and appetite, social withdrawal, crying more and more often, sudden mood swings, and self-destructive behaviors.
The causes of depression are difficult to define. They can be: genetics, food, stress, lifestyle, rejection, traumatic situations and other factors such as problems related to coexistence and relationships in the work, school or family environment.
There is also a strong relationship between depression, anxiety and sensitivity. Sometimes sensitive people don’t have great emotional protection, which leads them to feel everything very intensely…
As for treatment, antidepressant drugs are one commonly used together with therapy. They have the main function of restoring normal levels of substances that regulate our brain, especially serotonin (which regulates mood, among other things). However, many people who have this disease do not realize it, or they pretend that nothing is happening, they last too long and do not seek specialized medical help. Although there is treatment, there is also a lot of prejudice and ‘shame’ to admit the disease in order to treat it. There has to be a lot of willpower, which is not always easy. Then there are things that help, exercise, friends, sun and lots of hugs.
As Augusto Cury says in his book ‘The saga of a thinker’ (which I strongly recommend) “Deep down, every human being has some psychic illness, and the disease of prejudice is the worst of them.”
And he continues… “antidepressants treat the pain of depression, but they don’t cure the feeling of guilt or treat the anguish of loneliness.”, ” I believe that we all create our monsters, our fears, insecurities, mutilating thoughts, but we rarely find people willing to share them with.”
Hence the fundamental role of good psychologists and psychotherapy, without fear or prejudice in helping people with depression. Sometimes it is necessary to look at us from another point of view and I think there are fantastic and competent professionals who give us these guidelines.
What doesn’t help a depressed person?
The worst thing a depressed person can hear is “it will pass, come on” or “I don’t have time depressed people”, or even be ridiculed, stigmatized, ignored or misunderstood by the situation, not only in work environments but also in family members. .
To overcome depression it is necessary to believe in one’s own intellectual potential again and not give up on ourselves.
We need medical help, psychological support, empathy, support from those who accompany us day by day and lots and lots of conversations and reflections.
And going back to the choices that are made in life, all freedom/happiness has its price. A few days ago I read that we currently live in a consumer society, where “everything is justified with work and money”. I agree.
I think life has shown me that there is no money that pays for so much… sometimes we neglect what’s for free in everyday life.
If you know someone who is depressed, don’t ask them why. Depression is not a quick answer.
Trying to understand the darkness, the sadness of the soul, the tiredness and the loneliness that a depressed person goes through is very difficult. But if you can, be there to listen and take them to find professional help. That’s probably one of the kindest things you can do for someone who is depressed.
A big thank you to all the kind people out there…