What is Depression?
Depression is and can be a very serious condition in which people experienced prolonged and severe feelings of despondency and dejection which can be so debilitating that the sufferer can no longer function normally.
Everyone has a down day from time to time, days when for no apparent reason they might just feel flat. This is perfectly normal and usually with a little change of activity the mood will change too.
Have you noticed that someone can be having one of those down days then someone they may not have seen for a little while pops in and all of a sudden the blues are gone and they become talkative and cheerful.
My hubby or I might have one of those flat days and we find a walk on the beach will soon see us snap out of it and feel absolutely fine again.
We can all find ways to deal with those flat days so that they don’t impact on everyone around us. Here are a few I find that work well for us.
- Getting outside and doing something energetic is one of the best ways to overcome that black mood.
- Watch a funny movie
- Put on and listen to some lively music.
- Visit a friend or invite a friend over.
- Dig in the garden and plant some flowers or veggies.
- Tidy a room in the house thoroughly.
- Play with your dog.
- Go through your photo albums and reflect on the events they reveal.
That’s just a few ideas for those odd grey days but clinical depression is another matter altogether and should not be taken so lightly. What is important is recognizing the feelings, being open about them and seeking to reverse it before it is allowed time to feed on itself.
Not being able to deal with severe depression can be life threatening for some people. Depression for them is more than just a low mood but a serious condition affecting both their physical and mental health. Ignoring it can be fatal.
So What Causes Depression?
It is one of those mysterious issues which have no definitive answer and professionals are often at a loss as to how best to treat it. It is often a consequence of a series of life events or some form of trauma at some point in the persons’ life which they have not been able to deal with effectively. It builds up on itself and grows feeding on itself like a malignant tumor. If severe depression is not taken seriously and treated effectively the victim may end up not being able to deal with it anymore and decide that taking their own life is the only option for them.
Some people have a genetic tendency to be predisposed to depression and need to be aware of the triggers which might cause them to go down. Triggers can be prolonged work stress or an ongoing abusive or unhappy relationship, loneliness or even financial stress. Often it is a combination of several triggers and it might be just one more minor one which is like the straw that breaks the camels back.
People with low self-esteem, worriers and people who are perfectionists are all candidates for depression if things go belly up for them. People who suffer other forms of debilitating illness can also fall victim to depression because they will struggle to deal with their pain or be able to get out and about to enjoy the company of others.
Other causes of depression are the prolonged consumption of alcohol and drug abuse as each of these can impact the chemical balance in the brain. The brain however is one of the most misunderstood parts of the human anatomy and an area which researchers are only beginning to discover its workings and treat effectively the anomalies which might occur.
What Then Can we do About It?
Whilst many drugs such as anti depressants might bring some relief they are often only a band aid for a deeper underlying issue which needs to be looked at and dealt with. It is a whole family problem because the depressed person will not be feeling dark and gloomy themselves they can make others around them feel anxious or at a loss as to how they can best help their loved one overcome their depression.
I have heard it said time and again that what they need is a good swift kick up the backside. This is not at all helpful and will only serve to make the depressed person go down further.
Qualified psychological treatment is helpful but it must include other members of the family as the whole family are affected. Without their understanding and cooperation the chances of a good outcome are severely impacted meaning as soon as the depressed person steps back into the same environment any progress made can come undone as they try to live with unchanged attitudes among family members. They need a thorough understanding of the illness just as you would with a family member suffering some other form of serious illness such as cancer or heart disease.
Early intervention with any illness we face is important. Therefore, it is important to be self-aware and aware of those around us. Some of the things we might observe are.:(These are my personal observations of a family member suffering severe.depression.) I am not a doctor or even a psychologist but simply a mother who has struggled to find ways to help a family member through this dreadful illness.
- a lack of interest in going out anywhere
- withdrawing from family and friends
- tending to consume more alcohol or drugs
- no motivation to complete any tasks
- not eating properly
- lack of personal hygiene and not bothering to take care of personal appearance.
- a don’t care attitude about anything and everything.
- tending to blame others for everything that has gone wrong in their own lives.
- irrational outbursts of anger and rage.
- lack of empathy for anyone else, their whole world revolves around them.Depression is a serious problem faced by many families in modern society. In this website I am going to try to get a better understanding of it myself and share that knowledge with you, my readers. My results will be sourced from reading and researching various other articles combined with my own personal experience.
Why Am I Writing About This Topic?
Our son at 19 years of age suffered a serious head injury in a quad bike accident. He had everything going for him at that time then in an instant everything changed.
The accident meant having several reconstructive surgeries and many months of readjustment and rehabilitation. Whilst his physical body healed well over time it became evident that he was no longer motivated to continue working and achieve the things he did before the accident. He became very irrational in much of his behavior doing things he would never have done before which I do not intend to describe in detail here. His ability to reason and differentiate from right and wrong had become blurred and the consequences could have been catastrophic for both him and us.
We have bailed him out of situations that would otherwise have meant a stint in a facility where we felt he would only become worse. It is difficult to know how to deal with these sorts of challenges as a parent or even as a sibling.
He now suffers severe depression but in recent years we have seen him take a real interest in gardening which we see as a positive move forward.
Our entire family was impacted by the personality change and ended up being very dysfunctional. Some members of family now no longer talk to each other or to us. It has been an incredibly difficult journey and one which for us will probably continue. Whilst we love them all dearly and pray for them constantly it seems to be broken beyond repair.
We are all in it together.
I am hoping that by writing this story and sharing my own experience and research I can help other families deal with similar issues. When something like this happens, too often it is only the victim who gets assistance but it is the whole family who need assistance. Whether it be consultations with doctors or therapists or counselors, it needs to be for everyone immediately impacted, not just the person suffering because we all suffer together.
If you have experience in this area I would love to hear your story. If you could share it others may not feel so alone in their struggles. Please feel free to write and tell how you worked through depression in your family. You can remain anonymous or perhaps just leave initials or an alias.
Just to finish I will leave you with a very short video which explains depression clearly especially for those who prefer the visual presentation.
Depression Affects the whole family