Guest Post by Joel Curtis
Joel Curtis is a registered Psychologist with Endeavour Wellness and has over 17 years of experience. Joel holds a Masters’ Degree in Psychology from Western Sydney University. Joel owns a number of private practices in Sydney and provides expert content for several national TV and radio programmes.
Depression is a serious mental health condition that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Depression can come on suddenly from a traumatic event or can arise over time from ongoing struggles in life. When depression occurs, it can be different from person to person.
However, it can all lead to the same place over time if help isn’t sought. That place is suicide.
For those who are caring for someone with depression, this expert guide will give you inside knowledge into what it’s like in the mind of someone who is depressed.
Let’s take a look now.
Looking Into A Depressed Mind
During a depressive episode, a person dealing with this mental illness will feel as if the world is a dark place. Things that may look beautiful, hopeful, and wonderful to you, will look sinister, flat, or ugly to someone with this condition.
In their mind, a depressed person may start to believe that they’re a nuisance to those around them. That their loved ones would be better off without them in their lives, that even their young children would be better off.
Within a depressed mind, they’ll feel as if nothing is pleasurable, comforting, or even worth living for. They don’t see hope at the end of the tunnel, only more misery, pain, and overwhelming sadness.
When this shift in reality occurs, they will start to forget what is normal in their daily life. They will start to focus on the bad things that have happened previously across the years, instead of seeing the good times. What they think about themselves and their new reality, they will believe.
For example, if they feel they are a nuisance, that everyone around them is talking negatively about them, or they believe that everyone hates them (even though they don’t), they will believe this as reality.
When depression starts to occur, a person will become irritated with everything and everyone around them. Work, hobbies, and other daily activities begin to feel boring, undesirable, and resentful. Every movement will feel like struggling through quicksand as motivation starts to drop.
Challenges now become overwhelming, joy becomes an empty reminder, and sadness becomes unbearable. Heavy episodes of depression can feel like intense pain inside their mind and body that they can’t get away from. It nags at them day in and day out, until they feel isolated from the rest of the world.
A person may also start to feel shame. Shame because they aren’t accomplishing anything, or because they are continuously snapping at those around them. Life becomes meaningless. When this occurs, suicidal thoughts start to invade the mind. They believe that by taking their own life, they’ll be free of the pain and will also stop being a burden on everyone else.
This is how suicide occurs.
What You Can Do to Help Your Loved Ones Get Through Depression
The first step to help your loved ones overcome their depression is by seeking professional help. Depression shouldn’t be treated lightly. It’s a very serious and downward-spiralling condition. Without professional help from a psychologist or doctor, suicide risk increases greatly.
Other things you can do to help someone you love include:
- Be there for them, and let them know they’re loved, and they’re not a nuisance.
- Encourage them to talk about their troubles with you.
- Don’t force them to do something they don’t want to.
- Don’t tell them to “just get over it” – it’s not that simple.
- Try to learn more about the mental illness to better understand what they’re going through.
- Don’t take their outbursts to heart. They don’t mean to be angry at you.
Depression is very serious and can be life-threatening if left untreated. By understanding the condition better, you have a greater chance of helping someone you love overcome the illness.
Don’t give up. There is help available for both you as a carer and your loved one.
Are you helping someone through depression? Did this help you understand the condition better?
If you need help right now, contact a suicide hotline. Don’t give up!