Depression, a common but severe mood disorder affects how you feel, think, and manage daily activities. It causes feelings of sadness, loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed and can lead to various emotional and physical problems. Don’t mistake sadness for depression though, sadness is for a period, depression goes on and on, it isn’t something people just “snap out of.” Recognize it for what it is, a debilitating illness that is treatable and just like you wouldn’t put off treatment for a bone that is broken, depression isn’t something that will fix itself, it requires medical attention in the form of therapy and or medication.
Depression and Suicide
Depression, if left untreated, can lead to the most extreme act of self-harm - suicide. “The so-called ‘psychotically depressed’ person who tries to kill herself doesn’t do so out of quote ‘hopelessness’ or any abstract conviction that life’s assets and debits do not square. And surely not because death seems suddenly appealing. The person in whom Its invisible agony reaches a certain unendurable level will kill herself the same way a trapped person will eventually jump from the window of a burning high-rise. ” -David Foster Wallace
Victims often suffer in silence, making it harder for friends, family, and professionals to spot the signs and offer help. The death of Angus Cloud brings into sharp focus the often unspoken connection between depression and suicide.
Recognizing the Signs
Recognizing signs of depression and suicidal ideation is crucial for prevention. Individuals suffering from depression may show symptoms like persistent sadness, feelings of hopelessness, irritability, decreased energy, changes in appetite or sleep patterns, and difficulty concentrating. In severe cases, there may be frequent mentions of death, suicidal thoughts, or even suicide attempts.
On Suicide Prevention
Suicide prevention begins with recognizing these warning signs and taking them seriously. If you notice these signs in yourself or someone you know, please don't hesitate to reach out. The role of mental health professionals, counselors, and therapists in suicide prevention cannot be overstated. They provide the necessary treatment, whether through medication, therapy, or a combination of both, to those battling depression. They can also guide those with depression in developing coping mechanisms and resilience strategies.
In light of Angus Cloud's death, let us remember the importance of discussing mental health openly and compassionately. Depression and suicide are not signs of weakness, but rather indications of a person in immense pain. Mental health deserves the same urgency and empathy as physical health. Let us all, on this site and in the world at large, strive to remove the stigma surrounding mental health. Let’s create a culture of understanding and ensure that those in need can easily access help and support. We owe it to ourselves and to those we've lost, to fight the battle against the silent epidemic of depression and suicide.
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Food for thought:
What is one thing that has helped your depression?
Are you in therapy?
If you are on medication, how long did it take to find the right medication or dose?
What is one thing you wish you knew when starting treatment that could help someone else?