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5 Main Signs to Detect Depression | Don't read it, get help. It's serious.

Updated: Jul 17, 2020

Before we dive into looking at different ways to detect depression in yourself or another person, let me just make it clear that I am neither a psychologist nor a person with a medical degree. Then why read further?

I am one among you all, who also has experienced ups and downs in life. I might have not experienced everything, given my age but I feel I can listen to and understand another human or an animal.

Given that speaking on mental health itself still is a taboo and is given importance only when things go south in someone else’s life, we have to start taking steps in changing this notion as young citizens of this world. Ignore what your grandparents, parents, relatives or even friends might say about you speaking out about mental health. This is for you and your loved ones. It’s ok if you’re alone in this. All that matter is that you’re doing it for them.

A person drowning from depression. Help them

Photo by Ian Espinosaon - Unsplash

God forbid, but say you fall sick and is seeking treatment in a hospital. Every person you know might know will come forward to meet you or make calls to enquire about your health. Here everyone is concerned and is emotionally invested in getting you better.

Just 20 years back, Diabetes and Blood Pressure (BP) also were spoken secretly. “I heard he is diabetic…, maybe a lot of stress”. Or as they might say in India “I heard he has sugar…”. Fast forward to today, having Diabetes and BP is super common. It’s more like “Yeah, I don’t eat sweets as I am diabetic. You know it’s been a healthy journey after being diabetic”.

If you observe, the world really won’t give a damn until it’s done by some else.

A simple example, say, Mahatma Gandhi, the great freedom fighter of India hadn’t had, had the willingness to take a step forward towards an Independent India, God knows what could’ve been today like.

It all starts with a spark. You might not have to think about leading a moment in the world or invest massively on publicity to express yourself. There’s this quote, which goes, “Charity begins at home”. Think about what it means. It doesn’t have to be in a monetary way to start a charity. Why not spread good in the world? Well, if you think what’s in it for you?

Let me clear it up for you. Say your brother or sister is going through a difficult time in their life but are uncomfortable in expressing it with the family. What do you expect them to do? Do you want things to go bad in their life? Or would wish for their good and want them to seek help or just express themselves?

Imagine if they heard a talk, or watched a video or spoke to a friend about their problems. Things will go smooth and that defines the meaning of relationships.

Let’s now see what are the simple ways to detect depression,

1. Imbalance of mood.

At first, we should know that moods keep changing and there isn’t one mood that a person could fixate on. Emotions are what makes humans. If you’re feeling low today, it shall pass. If you’re feeling excited today, embrace the moment. The meaning of “Live the moment”, doesn’t mean you start clicking pictures to freeze those memories. Living the moment is about being a part of it. Say you are with a couple of friends, for God sake put down your phone and be engaged at the moment. You can send snaps, click pictures, and colour up your Instagram later as well.

Being at the moment has two benefits. One, you enjoy the present. Second, you will remember the incident and have a great laugh later. Building memories is a selfish move, it’s a move to keep yourself happy.

A sleeping dog which portrays imbalance of a person's mood here.

Photo by Jorge Zapataon - Unsplash

Being selfish to keep yourself and your friends happy, isn’t all the bad, is it?

2. Doesn’t matter if you’re a man.

Let me tell that men are weaker when it comes to emotions, that’s a fact. There’s “Mard ko Dard Nahi Hota (Men don’t feel pain)”, “Alpha Male”, “Breed Earner”, “Men don’t cry”, “Men have it together”, “Men are strong” and maybe many more ways in which the message has been around. This illogical thought has been around for a while since its’ deeply rooted in traditions and cultures around the world.

Men do feel the pain and Men cry.

Photo by lucas clarysseon - Unsplash

So, keep your muscles away from your mind when it comes to emotions. If you feel sad, you cry. If you feel happy, you laugh. If you feel destroyed, learn from it.

“Finding yourself” isn’t about you taking that road trip on a bike. It’s originally about taking time for yourself and seeing through your mind.

Only then will you understand deep connections. So now if you see a “man” trying to hold back his emotions, detect that and talk to him. This also is a two-way thing; it’s about supporting each other. Traditions have made us weak into thinking that only women are meant to be emotional, that’s wrong. Stand up for your loved ones.

3. Triggered reactions

When a person’s behaviour creates a pattern in which they show a triggered reaction to certain things that are said to them or just hear, then it’s time to talk to them. There always is an underlying emotion or a thought that has created this triggered response in them.

A person has triggered reactions.

Photo by Aarón Blanco Tejedoron - Unsplash

That could be emotions of anger, sadness, loss of hope, loss of trust, or in faith, it could be anything. If you, yourself can observe that the pattern of your emotions which are reflected as your behaviour, is affecting the life you are leading, then it’s something for you to think about.

Now say a person isn’t all that capable of understanding how to reflect. You must help them. Don’t follow it in a way, where you control their life with your orders. Then what you’re doing is making them weaker. Stand as their support, till they are back to their normal self.

4. Knowing their potential

It’s stressful to see a person you know spending their time on wasteful stuff instead of using their true potential. It’s heartening to know their potential and seeing a different behaviour. There are two things which you can do. One, ignore and lead your life. Second, helping them realize it. Show their past, with photos, achievements, the right choices & moves they’ve taken in their lives and anything that could lift them. A person needs realization for them to change. Its automatically becomes your duty to notice it and launch them forward. There isn’t any space for ego here. It’s about collective winning.

Helping each other for a better mental health

Photo by Becca Taperton - Unsplash

If you have the feeling that you want to rule the world and that makes one reason where you don’t spend time in helping others; all I want to say is that it’s lonely on the top. You’ve got to have someone to share your joy with. It’s better when you achieve collectively.

5. They are being pressured

Stress and pressure are common today. The words get the work done but leaves a residue behind. Stress is harmful in today’s life. The social media world is all about comparing. I recently wrote an article about how the world wants us to keep comparing, in which I talk about the way influencers, people who are well off, or someone lucky shows one part of their life on these platforms. But the bigger part of their lives is always hidden.

The societal pressure in the world especially in India

Photo by Lacie Slezakon - Unsplash

Imagine coming back from a tiring day at the office and you open Instagram; to see that a couple of your friends are partying hard on the same day. The only thing that your mind thinks about, is how wasteful your life has been. Comparison kills joy. Maybe you were happy with all the work you put in and felt satisfied that you’re making progress to conquer your dreams. And now someone is showing you that they’ve made it to their dream. It’s common to feel bad and go to a state of being depressed. Hence, it’s necessary to realize your goal and what your kind of rewards are. Everyone's got a different path and different timing.

“Remember why you are there, in the first place. Realize that you are there for entertainment alone,” Casey Neistat said that in one of his vlogs and helped me realize my reward for by kind of dreams.

Give those stressed ones a shoulder to express. It’s all they need.

The funny part about this entire article is that, even though it gives a basic view to detect and understand a depressed person; the article really can’t help if we don’t give it a invested thought.

All I mean is that depression is a trending topic for all to speak only when things go south in someone else’s life, as I said earlier. It shouldn’t be something you talk about to get yourself trending. The irony is that to get this message out there, I have to use the hashtags #depression and #mentalhealth.

Go ahead and start a moment today, in your house. Ask your family members to speak out if they have something that’s been holding them back. It’s always “charity beings at home” and will always be. You’ll be surprised to see hidden emotions and pain that your loved ones have been through but at the same time, you’ll notice the ease of pain when they have a shoulder to express.

The answer to hesitation is always a ‘No’, so start today.

Spread the joy, support the sadness, and save the memories.

More importantly, it's serious and get help. Don't listen to 'anyone' to guide you on depression. It requires professional help. 

God Speed.

By- Nirup Kamagethi Chakravarti P L

Written for the world, to hear the cry of that kid in all. 

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