Addressing mental health issues: Identifying depression

Via Peters

Despite progress in talking about and responding to mental health challenges such as depression, there still remains a lot of stigma around it that contributes towards many suffering in silence.

Often, when persons complete suicide, there can be statements that they should have reached out, but depression can make it very difficult for someone to reach out for help, particularly if they are in a state of crisis.

While depression does not have a face, below are some of the common things that are often associated with it and which can often be overlooked.

The strong friend

Many people, who experience depression, can oftentimes also find themselves being referred to as the strong friend or the one that can always be reached out to when others require support.

Due to the role they play, people might not believe that they themselves require support, or they might take it at face value when the person lets them know that everything is okay.

Being a supportive friend or relative can often go a long way in getting persons to be comfortable enough to share their challenges so that they can ultimately be able to get the help that is needed.

Depression is often hidden under a smile

Often, when persons complete suicide, one is regaled with stories of how they were always happy or wearing a smile as depression is often depicted as being something that causes one to be lethargic and grim.

Both things, however, can be true about the way depression affects people and the different ways that it manifests.

Because of the internal struggles they themselves might be experiencing, many persons will choose to be the “class clown” or the person who is always up for a bit of good fun, often, however, this can serve as a distraction while they are unable to get the support and resources they need. 

It is often called high-functioning depression 

There are many that would argue that high-functioning depression does not exist, and in a sense, they would be right. Persons who are classed with high-functioning depression are often demonstrated as being those who “successfully” manage their depression through work and other activities.

Much like how substances can be utilized to numb and escape the effects of depression, however, so too can work, and this is often in response to a capitalistic environment where persons are taught that their worth is tied to their productivity levels. 

Persons, regardless of the level of depression they are seen to have, require care and support. Mental health challenges can be difficult to navigate, but having support can often a lot of difference.

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