Mental health is gaining an increasing amount of importance, gradually but surely. However, we aren’t where we should be in terms of education and openness.
Diseases and handicaps that are physical are easier to understand for the onlooker but mental health problems can be equally hurtful and can create the same amount of hindrances in the life of the affected, preventing them to live chaos-free.
So, let’s talk about depression first.
The first thing that needs to be said and enforced is, DEPRESSION DOES NOT EQUATE TO BEING SAD! There are two kinds of people that confuse the meaning of depression. The first being the one’s that throw around the world when they might be feeling sad,
“Oh, today is such a depressing day ya”
“Looking at all the pending work is giving me depression”
This is absolutely wrong as it waters down the meaning of the word and that just is not fair to people who have to go through depression, the real clinical kind.
The other kind of people that confuse the meaning is those who think depression is a temporary feeling that strong people can easily do away with, which just is not true. Clinical depression is much worse than we make it out to be. The WHO estimates that more than 300 million people worldwide suffer from depression. It’s also the world’s leading cause of disability.
Feeling sad is a part of life and life wouldn’t feel right without it, Depression however can interfere with persons daily functioning. Depression can hinder one’s professional life and personal life and needs to be treated by a professional.
The share of the population with depression ranges mostly between 2% and 6% around the world today. Globally, older individuals (in the 70 years and older age bracket) have a higher risk of depression relative to other age groups. (Source:IHME, globa; burden od dieses)
Clinical depression is treatable. Though, according to the WHO, less than 50% of those worldwide with depression receive treatment.
We need to change this, the fight against depression is not as easy as it seems.
If you ever find anyone around you throwing around the term depression without actually knowing the depth of it, send this article to them. Let us ensure people going through depression who have to face horrible times do not have to bear the brunt of this.
Okay so Anxiety, like depression the problems that are associated with them are similar. People throw around the word and it eventually loses its real meaning. So before delving into the issues associated with Anxiety let us talk about it a little further. The feeling of anxiousness is normal, everyone feels it but there is a MAJOR difference between feeling anxious and having an Anxiety disorder!
Women are more likely to have to face anxiety disorders, around 63 percent (179 million) relative to 105 million males. (Source :Global Burden of Disease Collaborative Network)
Anxiety disorders are a group of mental illnesses that can cause people to avoid school, work, family gatherings, crowds, or other situations that may trigger their anxiety symptoms. This for obvious reasons is a huge problem as it can affect their job or education in a way that may impair them from being able to even enter an office/school building. Most people cannot survive without jobs or without education.
Now, what can we do to help those facing anxiety disorders?
- Simply understand what an anxiety disorder is, empathy is an important virtue everyone needs to hold.
- If you notice a person with anxiety disorder withdraw from you or someone else, be there, tell them you support them. Words of affirmation work like magic sometimes.
- If you see someone going through an anxiety/panic attack, know that these people end up thinking about worst-case scenarios. Talk to them about it, ask them about the likeliness of that happening and talk them into a more positive scenario for the same situation.
If you’re still reading, we love you and we are proud to see you want to understand depression and anxiety better.
IGNORANCE AROUND ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION
Ignorance is bliss they say, but what if that ignorance can affect someone else’s wellbeing? Bliss for you shouldn’t turn into hurtful comments, disrespectful treatment of those suffering already.
We understand diseases like cancer, diabetes, cholesterol better than mental health conditions and these have a larger spectrum of physical symptoms, ones we can see on the outer surface of our bodies. Mental health problems have symptoms too, I am going to list them down for a better understanding.
- Feeling restless, wound-up, or on-edge
- Being easily fatigued
- Having difficulty concentrating; mind going blank
- Being irritable
- Having muscle tension
- Difficulty controlling feelings of worry
- Having sleep problems, such as difficulty falling or staying asleep, restlessness, or unsatisfying sleep
- Selective mutism in some cases
- Trembling or shaking
- Feelings of ultimate doo.
- Feelings of being out of control
CLINICAL DEPRESSION SYMPTOMS
- Trouble remembering details
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and helplessness
- Pessimism and hopelessness
- Loss of interest in things once pleasurable
- Overeating, or appetite loss
- Digestive problems that don’t get better, even with treatment
- Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” feelings
- Suicidal thoughts or attempts
So let us not shy away from these things, glamorize these things, casually misuse these strong words! Instead, let us work together is making these people who have to face these hard feelings, feel safe, feel like they can talk about what they are going through!
For anyone who faces depression or anxiety, we just want to tell you that you WILL make it through and surely WILL make you stronger.