Depression is quiet. It’s silent. It’s a whisper in a crowded room. It’s also very much forgotten about until someone succumbs to it. They buckle under the weight of it and are gone in the blink of an eye. Depression is the silent killer and is more prevalent than ever.
Following the death of beloved comedian/actor/son/husband/father Robin Williams, society is now more aware of the repercussions of depression and just how big an issue it really is. A common misconception is that there is a direct link between suicide and depression, but they actually exist as two separate entities. One is not reliant on the other; just because one is depressed, does not mean that he/she is suicidal.
Coping with depression is very tricky; it is so individual to the person who is suffering from it, and no-one apart from them could possibly understand. Although there is no magic cure for depression, there are several ways you can manage it in your everyday life.
One is to distract yourself from the situation. When you’re coping with depression, it is very easy to get lost within yourself, within your mindset and within this world you have created that is full of darkness – but by distracting yourself, you are effectively pulling yourself out of this world. Anything can be an outlet/distraction for you, whether it is exercise, art, music or even cleaning. Just immersing yourself in something can be a really effective way of channelling your frustrations. Even if you don’t normally partake in art or exercise, just try it; go for a run, doodle on some paper, listen to some music and clean your room, clean the house – even going for a long walk can distract yourself from the darkness.
Another technique that I like to use if I’m feeling low is to talk to someone. It doesn’t have to be a friend or family member, just someone. Although I like to talk to my parents if I feel my depression coming back, I know that might not be ideal for everyone. There are chat rooms out there and numbers you can ring if you feel you just need someone to listen. The great thing about these websites/call centres is that it is all anonymous; the person on the other end of the phone just wants to listen to you.
Young people are often ignored – they feel that their problems are insignificant. I know, because I was in this situation. But what you have to remember is that your problems, big or small, matter. They matter just as much as anyone else’s problems. So if you feel that something is getting to you, if you don’t feel/want to cope with it by yourself, then talk to someone. It honestly makes such a difference. You’ll be surprised just how relieved you’ll feel after venting.
However, the first thing you must do if you think you (or someone you know) is suffering from depression is to see your doctor, especially if you fear that you or they may be suicidal. Suicide is a big issue and something that I cannot tackle here. If you are feeling especially low and considering taking your own life, I urge you to speak to someone, anyone. I don’t know you, but I can promise that nothing is worth your life and nothing is worth taking your life for.
All of this is just advice and shouldn’t be replaced with the valuable advice of a doctor. So please, if you feel sad, depressed or suicidal (or know someone who is) get in contact with somebody. Know that your problems matter, you matter and there are people who care about you.
Eventually that dark cloud will lift, and all the demons you are fighting at the moment will seem so insignificant when you win this battle. With proper care and attention, you can get through this and come out on the other side, stronger than ever before. I know, because I’ve been through it. So if you don’t trust anyone else’s opinion on this, trust mine, because I’ve been there and I’ve battled, and it’s a long fight. But once you finally feel that tiny bit of hope – that hope you’ve been longing for, for so long – nothing else matters.
USEFUL LINKS IF YOU (OR A FRIEND/FAMILY MEMBER) IS FEELING SUICIDAL/DEPRESSED:
ChildLine: 0800 1111 (Calls are free and the number will NOT show up on your bill)
PAPYRUS: 0800 068 41 41 (Volunteer-run organisation that supports teenagers and young adults who feel suicidal)
http://www.free-online-counselling.org.uk/Chatrooms.htm (A chatroom service that allows you to talk to a counsellor anonymously)
By Deanna Miles