I’ve been depressed a thousand times before, so I can proudly say that I know the signs of depression based on what I’ve been through and what I’ve seen others go through. Depression isn’t a joke as many Ghanaians or Africans love to make it seem. It is the lowest point you can ever be and there’s a thin line between that point and death. If you’ve ever been depressed, you will get me but if not, you need to know that it is very easy for a depressed person to wish for death to the point of wanting to end their lives. I’ve been there before, so I know it. I know how dark that place is; how it tortures you and makes you feel like you are drowning in your own body. It is nothing pleasant and I won’t wish it on anyone.
Right now, as you are reading this, a number of people are depressed and they are searching for hope. They need someone to reach out. One of them could be your sibling, your parent, any other family member, your friend, your roommate, your next-door neighbor, the person sitting next to you in the taxi or bus, your course mate, your Facebook friend, Twitter follower and many others that you’ve met either physically or online.
One thing that most of you do not know is, a depressed person leaves signs no matter how minute it is. Most of these signs are overlooked, ignored or made into jokes because we don’t treat depression as serious as we should. I’ve listed some of these signs so take note of them and treat them like you would if it was a post about the lethal diseases you are so scared of.
A DEPRESSED PERSON WANTS TO BE LEFT ALONE
Anytime I’m depressed, I love to be left alone with my self-degrading thoughts. You’ll usually see me walking around seriously with an aura that screams ‘not in the mood to talk.’ And when I’m home or in my hostel, I rush to my bed and shut everyone out. Those who feel the most impact are those I live with because unlike outside, where I can pretend to be happy, when I get home, I can’t. It’s where the masquerade comes off and anyone in my way ends up getting lashed out at. I know it’s not nice for you at the receiving end but at that point, we cannot help it. Our minds are screaming negative words at us and fighting us, so imagine how devastating it is and why we tend to have no space for anyone. We are too mad at ourselves to let you in and we are trying so hard to win the battle against our own minds. So when we ask you to let us be alone, do not get mad. Just blame it on depression and reach out the right way you should.
A DEPRESSED PERSON WANTS TO STAY IN BED ALL DAY AND NOT GO ANYWHERE
This is a sad reality about depression and it is so bad that, even with so much work on our plates, our depressing thoughts make us feel so hopeless and give us no urge to do anything. We rather stay in bed and believe what our minds tell us. We let our minds criticize us and tell us how we are useless and nothing will ever work out for us. Our minds tell us we should quit trying and so even if we have class, lectures, an exam, a seminar, a place to go to or anything else to do, we stay in our beds and usually, cry our sorrows out. Such times, we will give excuses as to why we can’t go out or meet with our friends or perform our daily tasks. We will usually say, ‘I’m not well’ and many others and have you believe us or think, ‘this person must be going to have fun somewhere, so she doesn’t want to go for lectures.’ I know this because, I’ve been there and such times, what you can do to help us is to come to us. Come to our homes or rooms, if you notice this, and pull us out of our beds and trust me, it always works. Tell us you are not leaving till we take our shower, dress up and go with you. My best friend did that once for me and it worked. You may not know what that will do for us. You might save us from being sacked from our workplaces, failing an exam or losing something precious.
A DEPRESSED PERSON IS SOMETIMES THE LOUDEST AND HAPPIEST IN A CROWD
Ironically, anytime I’m depressed and I’m able to overcome that huge urge to stay indoors and not go anywhere, I become a completely different person than I was when I was indoors. Usually, I tend to be the life of the crowd, the craziest; I laugh the loudest and I talk and talk without wanting to end. This gives people no clue of what really is going on with me and it makes it harder to convince my friends that I get depressed because the girl they see is too happy to be depressed. And you know what happens when you leave the crowd and you are finally alone? It comes back! The depressing thoughts rush back to you and consume your whole being, making you feel lonely as though everyone has turned their backs to you. And then, you tell yourself, ‘it never goes away, “I will never be okay.’ Imagine being that person who was able to get me out of bed like I said under the previous sign and we go out and I start acting all hyper like I’m high. Won’t you be confused? Yes! If you pay close attention, you will realize it and you can’t blame me or call me fake because truth is, I have no control over it. The hyper mood sets in from nowhere and when it happens, we go with it because we want to enjoy it knowing that it won’t last so long and knowing that a while ago, we were searching for a reason to be happy but found none so if we have it finally, why question it? That’s exactly what happens and it is a major sign of depression so take note of it.
A DEPRESSED PERSON HAS POOR PERSONAL HYGIENE
Once again, this is very bad for a lady, especially, and it is a big sign of depression. As I mentioned earlier, all a depressed person wants is to stay in bed and never go anywhere. Personally, sometimes, I wish to be locked away somewhere far away like Rapunzel with food and water and a bed till I get back to my normal self. This is because, during an episode, we have little or no energy to do anything. We can be in bed all day and not brush our teeth. Some of us eat though and look so miserable. You will find our rooms all messed up, clothes everywhere; on the floor, all over the bed with little space for us to lie, dirty plates among the clothes and several other nasty things. This behavior of ours isn’t deliberate and sadly, those around us do not get it. Sometimes, we have to deal with people calling us names, saying we are lazy and dirty and sadly, it worsens the situation. Calling us names actually makes us feel like our depressing thoughts are so right and make us feel more worthless. It pushes us further down that hole and if care is not taken, we might get to the point of no return where we might just take our lives. When you notice this, please treat it with urgency. Help us clean up, no matter how annoying or frustrating it is and lead us to the bathhouse to bath, help us get clean clothes on and put on our favorite music or movies and watch with us quietly. And trust me, we will appreciate it so much because, it will help us come around.
A DEPRESSED PERSON CRIES A LOT
I usually tell people how comforting it is for me to cry and they find it so hard to believe. I know it’s weird because usually when I’m depressed, I’ll put on sad music like Rihanna’s ‘what now’ or watch very depressing music videos like ‘Skyscraper,’ ‘Don’t judge me,’ ‘Stone cold’ and many more to trigger tears. And then, you will find me crying, looking all sorrowful like I’ve lost someone dear to me and when it reaches its peak like an orgasm I would feel brand new. I would feel like a burden I’ve been carrying for long has been taken off my chest and I will be in an ‘okay’ mood. It is actually a remedy, so when you see a depressed person crying, don’t try to stop them. Leave them alone and come back later. If you find them still moody, then you can reach out and if not, you will find them in high spirit.
If you’ve not tried it before, try it when you are depressed and you will see how much the tears you let out will comfort your sad soul. Before I end this, I have to add that the advice that depressed people should listen to happy music in order to uplift their moods and get them out of their depressed states doesn’t work. It doesn’t work because, contrary to the belief, these happy songs are the opposite of what a depressed person feels on the inside and instead of helping, they rather give our minds the more reasons to tell us that we are not worth the good things in life and the words of the happy songs will be used as evidence. The songs rather make us feel hopeless and make us feel like there’s no way we are ever going to be happy and not get sad again and it pushes us farther down the hole. In the end, it could push us to our graves so please think twice before giving that advice next time.
BINGE EATING/ STARVATION
A depressed person either eats a lot or doesn’t eat at all. The latter doesn’t apply to me because I love food and can’t live without food no matter what mood I find myself in so, when I’m depressed I over-eat. I eat a whole lot of anything that I like, and eat in so much haste. I usually eat and cry to myself because the pain is unbearable. Usually it’s either chocolate or anything sweet and I would take so much that, in the end, I will have a tummy ache. It is a sign of depression when you realize someone is eating too much of a particular food especially when they hardly do that and when you notice the other signs like the miserable looks, you can reach out and help them.
Other depressed people go days without eating because they’d rather starve than feed their ‘worthless’ souls food because they feel they don’t deserve it. Usually, they don’t care about anything including food and will stay in bed till they are forced out.
A DEPRESSED PERSON IS ADDICTED TO SOMETHING THAT TAKES THE PAIN AWAY
This is where alcohol and drugs come in. Usually, some depressed people drink to forget their thoughts and surprisingly, it works so much. I can testify to that! I used to go to the bar and take shots of Tequila to feel okay when I felt depressed and though I hated and still hate hangovers, I’d rather have a hangover than deal with my depressing thoughts any longer. Sadly, the alcohol led to some reckless behaviors and an aftermath of longer days of depression which isn’t healthy so I won’t advise anyone to resort to alcohol. Also, others resort to drugs like marijuana and when they are high, it erases their depressing thoughts from their minds and makes them feel okay. Some depressed people also prefer to sleep when they feel that low and so they take sleeping pills. Some take so much; an overdose maybe, with hopes that they won’t have to wake up again, meaning they are indirectly taking their own lives or when they do, it will be after a long while just to avoid dealing with the pain.
So, if someone you know who isn’t a heavy drinker or smoker, suddenly changes and does it excessively, you should do something. Reach out and find out what’s going on before they lose themselves.
SOME DEPRESSED PEOPLE USE PAIN TO GET RID OF PAIN
This is where the wrist cutting and cutting of thighs or body parts come in. The pain that comes with depression isn’t physical but it hurts so bad emotionally, and no one loves to deal with it. If it leads people to commit suicide, then you should know it can make you do anything. Some people on the verge of avoiding that pain, prefer to mask it with physical pain and so, they cut themselves with razors and then, they endure that physical pain. Surprisingly, they find it comforting and it is addictive. Others go for painful tattoos and in the end, you realize they have too many tattoos covering their bodies and you are not able to identify the main reason why.
If you notice someone you know has cuts on their arms, wrists or thighs and they try so hard to hide it, please do something. Reach out and let them know they can rely on you. Also, never take it lightly when someone tells you they love to cut themselves. Depressed people sometimes make their coping mechanisms seem so cool and normal that, you might assume there is nothing more to them.
DEPRESSED PEOPLE LEAVE SIGNS ON THEIR SOCIAL MEDIA TIMELINES OR STATUSES
Usually, when I’m depressed, I leave clues of it on my display pictures and statuses. I will post images that reflect pain, numbness, emptiness, despair or someone crying for help. I usually post stuff with very deep meanings and mostly have people ignoring them because they assume I love too much drama. Sometimes, it is just a way of crying out to someone to reach out. Sometimes, I just need someone to talk to but then, they don’t get it. Just post something about sex and you will have them in your inbox. It sucks! Knowing so much about what it means when I post such stuff on my timelines, I’m able to identify it when a friend of mine is depressed and I reach out. I try to make them feel better because I understand exactly what they are going through. That is exactly what you should do. Don’t take some posts lightly, especially when it has to do with depression or suicide.
I remember posting on Facebook, asking how my friends would react if they found out I killed myself and trust me, the response I got would have given me a further push towards my grave if I was suicidal. Instead of finding out if I was okay, they rather dissed me and told me no one in their right senses would think that. Some even told me to snap out of it. It is very serious and shouldn’t be taken lightly. If you see that, treat it with seriousness, else, you will regret not reaching out after they kill themselves.
DEPRESSED PEOPLE ARE NURTURING AND THEY TRY TO BE THERE FOR EVERYONE
A depressed person knows exactly how it feels to hit rock bottom. He or she hates the pain that comes with depression and so, they try so much to be there for everyone who might need them. Sometimes, they become people ‘pleasers’ which comes back to bite them in the face in the long run and makes them depressed again. But still, they try to encourage people to choose life over anything else. They will convince you to erase suicide from your memory; they will say the right words to get you out of a down mood and usually are shoulders to cry on. They avail themselves and they lend listening ears just so they can be there for anyone who may be in need of someone to talk to. They try so hard to do to others what they want so much for themselves when they get depressed or what they usually are in desperate need for. Sadly, they are not able to talk to themselves like they do to others when the dark times arrive and because everyone looks up to them for help, they are not able to tell when they are in need of a savior. They are not able to hear their desperate cries for help and they drown in the pain alone with no one to save them.
I know this post is super-long but I believe there is so much you didn’t know before about depression in it. So, I will like you to treat it with so much seriousness. Share it with your friends, followers or contacts if you have to. Depression kills faster and it is worse because the individual kills their own selves just because they want to end the pain. As I said earlier, I’ve been there before and these signs stated here are from my experiences and as expected, it doesn’t contain everything there is to know about the signs of depression. But still, someone out there might be letting out some of these signs listed here and knowing them will help that person because I trust that you will reach out and make them feel better.
Do you have any questions? Ask by commenting.
Do you have any experiences you want to share? Please do so in the comments.
Do you want to add more to what I’ve said? Please do so.
Are you depressed? Do you need someone to talk to, someone who knows where you’re coming from, who gets it and someone who won’t judge you? Then please send me a mail and I will respond as soon as possible. You can do so visiting this link- https://amisdiaries.com/get-in-touch/
Your life matters and I need you to know that you are not the only one in this game and we are all going to fight depression.
Your life matters!
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