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Not ok? That’s ok

Seldom spoken about, mental health issues which lead to suicide are still prevalent. Why is this such a taboo subject?

Many people use the word ‘depressed’ a lot. There is a massive difference between feeling sad and down after a bad week at work, or going through a breakup, then there is actually feeling depressed.

What causes depression?

Depression is a very complex disease, and no one is actually sure what causes it. A serious illness or major life change, such as the death of a loved one, can cause it. Some have a family history of it, and may often feel alone and sad for no particular reason.

Physical, sexual, or emotional abuse suffered in the past can lead to depression. Certain medications can cause it, as well. Perhaps there is a conflict happening between your friends or family members. This too may trigger it.

Middle-aged men and teenages seem to be at a higher risk of taking their own lives. Men of this age have been conditioned to not talk about their feelings, to “Suck it up” or “Be a man.” These men often turn to alcohol to cope, and just keep everything bottled up inside.

Teenages have to cope with the pressures of studies, fitting in, and nowadays, online bullying. That’s a lot to cope with, and it’s really not surprising that many snap.

 

What to look out for

There may be a few in your circle of friends and family who may be struggling, especially with the situation being what it is now. But, what signs do you look out for?

  • Lack of energy or feeling tired all the time.
  • Restlessness and agitation.
  • Having difficulty sleeping (or sleeping more than usual).
  • Poor appetite, which may lead to weight loss.
  • Smoking and/or drinking more than usual, or using drugs.
  • Lack of interest in sex.
  • Unexplained physical aches and pains.
  • Self-harming.

If you know of someone who needs help, it may even be you, it is out there.

Picture credit: Andrea Piacquadio

Steps that can help

1/ Regular exercise

Exercise releases endorphins, which is the body’s ‘feel good’ drug. Make time everyday to exercise, even if it is just for half-an-hour. You will feel better, and the better you look, the happier you will feel.

2/ Don’t be so hard on yourself

Stop beating yourself up. Be kind to yourself. No one is perfect, and we all make mistakes. Stop and look at the positives in your life. You need to fight to change the voices in your head that are putting you down. It won’t be easy, but it can be done.

3/ Talk

Find a good support network, and talk to them. Do not be ashamed about the way you are feeling. They may not have answers for you, but knowing that there are people out there who care and have your back means the world.

Picture credit: Karolina Grabowska

Being depressed, or having other mental health issues, should not be something that is swept under the carpet. It needs to be spoken about, so that people know that they are not alone, and are not freaks. Get in touch with someone today. Ask them how they are. Really talk to them. If you feel that you are struggling, talk to someone.

Remember. You matter.

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