Depression: FAQ

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1.What does depression feel like?

Imagine you are trying to wade through water and this water is inside a black hole that starts at the centre of your chest and spreads through your body. And all of this goes on inside your head. Darker than grief, an implosion of self. Describing it is difficult. But this I will assure you, it is a terrifying place.

2. But isn’t this just in your head? Why don’t you stop thinking about it?

If I could stop thinking about it, it won’t be a problem, would it? The fact that I can’t is the problem. It is not a choice we make. Why something affects someone so much, your guess is as good as anyone’s. None of us have a definite answer to that question. That is what makes it tricky.

3. I am not depressed but I heard the pills pack quite a punch. Any idea where I can get them?

Jail. 🙂

4. How can anyone get into depression because of such a silly problem? (OR) How can he/ she be depressed all of a sudden? They were fine till last week. 

Usually, depression is not caused by a single event rather than a set of events. Events that were suppressed, ignored until one day one event pushes one block and it’s a freaking domino. In less than two minutes, you can go from fabulous to please-let-me-die. Or maybe it is just that one problem. They don’t choose to let it affect them. It just does. Don’t try to judge what another person is feeling based on what you feel about the issue.

5. You survived depression. Can you tell me how so I can too?

You could be sad, you could be bipolar, your depression could be major, chronic, dysthymia, atypical or the million other things. You need a professional. If you have temperature, would you go to the doctor or ask someone who already had fever what they did or took? Exactly.

6. Why do people on meds act cray cray sometimes?

The tablets are not just prescribed to anyone but to those who need it badly. So, chances are this person who is acting cray cray is already going through difficult times and the pills are messing with their head. Leave the cray cray person alone.

7. I’ve never seen this person cry but the shrink says he/ she is depressed. How is this possible?

The fact that they cannot cry when sad could be a symptom of improper mental health. Crying is one way of expression. Some cry, some don’t. We are all wired differently and we all respond differently.

8. But still, how is sadness even a real sickness? Isn’t that an emotion or something?

Sickness does not necessarily mean physical pain or disease. If sickness needs to be necessarily fatal to be convincing enough for you, over 50 percent of all people who die by suicide suffer from major depression. If one includes alcoholics who are depressed, this figure rises to over 75 percent. These statistics are worse than most “real” diseases.

9. My loved one was going through depression but they say they are fine. I can feel them slipping in and out of it time to time. What is going on?

Unlike physical sickness, the recovery is gradual. A person does not get better overnight. If the person says they are getting better, chances are, they are. Just give them time. All the time they need.

10. What happens when a depressed person meets a psychiatrist? They just talk, right? I can talk quite well. Maybe I should talk to them myself. 

Making a depressed person open up is complicated. Forgive me for being corny, but you make them confront their demons, you are basically making them start a war with themselves. This could go either way. One wrong step could make them worse. A psychiatrist studies and is trained to help people. Unless you want to take a risk at making a sick person worse, you should just back off and let the doctors do their jobs.

11. My loved one is showing symptoms of depression. When I asked him/ her, he/ she said that they are fine. 

Maybe they are. But chances are, they are in denial. They are sick and they do not know they are sick. They could know they are sick but not want to take help because mental sickness ultimately translates to ‘retarded’ in our society. Or maybe they are well informed, but they are too scared to face what is to come when the fight begins. All of these are possibilities. That is the problem. You won’t know. The person may not know. Hell, it may take time for a psychiatrist to know.

12. They spoke clearly when they say they were depressed. How can some whose head is messed up speak so clearly?

You, my dear, are poorly informed. This all goes back to us thinking that anything psychological means retarded.If they are going through depression, their head is not in the right place. It means they are not thinking clearly.  Why would they not speak clearly? They are not speech impaired (If that is even a term) They are depressed. Use your common sense.

13. My loved one is going through depression and it hurts me. What can I do to help them?

This, I believe, is what the person needs. Not actions but just the willingness to do something to make them feel better. Face it, there is not a lot you can do for them. Be there for them if and when they reach out to you. If they don’t, let them be. Not suffocating them too is an option. Not making things more difficult that they already are is a great help.

 

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