Mental health illness should always be taken seriously. If you're struggling with your mental health, speak to a professional. You do NOT need to handle this on your own.
Depression is the most common mental health illnesses in the world. It affects about 280 million people across the globe. So if that should tell you anything, it's that you're not alone. Depression is not something you should take lightly, or assume that you can battle on your own, or simply "brush it off."
How many people get the care they need when struggling with depression?
Half of them - and only 20% have been to counselling.
Are you, or someone you know, struggling with depression?
Learn what signs to look for and when to seek immediate help.
Signs that someone might be struggling with depression
#1 - Low mood (like really low)
Feeling really low, sad, empty, or hopeless most of the day, nearly every day.
#2 - Decreased or loss of pleasure
Do you no longer enjoy hobbies or activities you used to enjoy before? Did you stop looking forward to that poker night with the guys? Do you always feel "meh"?
"Depression is being colorblind and constantly told how colorful the world is." — Atticus, Love Her Wild
#3 - Appetite or weight change
It's a common misconception that depression is associated with loss of appetite. The fact, though, is that it comes either way and together even. Loss of appetite, a higher appetite, or a fluctuating combo of both! Perhaps you didn't notice. Try asking yourself another question: are you losing or gaining weight without even trying?
#4 - Sleep disruption
That's another one. Is it hard to fall asleep? What about staying asleep? And it's not just insomnia. Are you sleeping too much? Does it always feel easier to lurk in that bed?
#5 - Decreased "speed"
Have your friends or family noticed that you're speaking slower? Moving slower? Does it seem to others like you're in slow motion? Even smiling or laughing can seem to come with a lag.
#6 - Decreased or loss of energy
Are you always tired or low on energy? Do you always feel sluggish like you're carrying a heavy weight? Does everything - even getting out of bed and making breakfast - feel like it's labor?
"A big part of depression is feeling really lonely, even if you’re in a room full of a million people." — Lilly Singh
#7 - Feeling worthless or excessive guilt
Do you constantly feel not good enough? Are you always thinking or telling yourself what a bad job you've done? How the world is better off without you? Do you feel guilty over being sick? Or over things are not even your responsibility? Is everything your fault?
#8 - Difficulty concentrating
Are you struggling to stay on task? Is it challenging to concentrate? Did even thinking become burdensome? Does picking your clothes or making any choice give you a heavy heart?
#9 - Wishing you were dead
Do you find yourself frequently wishing you were dead? If you could disappear? That it would all be gone - including you? Do you wish you could sleep and never wake up?
#10 - Thinking about ending your life
Do you find yourself thinking about ways you could end your life? Do you think about what tools you would use? Where you would do it? Or when? Do you have a plan or an intention to end your life? Seek help now! Call the crisis line at (604) 872-3311 or go to a hospital emergency immediately. Ask a friend or a family member to come with you.
The most important thing is to remember that you're not alone.
People may tell you, "it's all in your head." Or you may be the one telling yourself that. The thing is, you just need the tools to deal and navigate with what life has thrown at you. We're not born engineers or doctors or lawyers; people learn how to become those. We're not born with innate coping skills either, and you don't need to invent the wheel.
Speak to a mental health professional who can help you start your journey toward healing.
Don't know where to go or who to talk to? I'm here to help.