A look at depression

I’ve decided to write this article because of the fact that I was diagnosed with depression earlier in my life, and had to face a lot of stereotypes and difficulties regarding social awareness. Whether you’re the one suffering from it, or you’re looking this up to better understand a friend or relative, I think it’s important to spread information and acceptance of this mental illness.

First of all, what’s depression? It’s a medical illness, which negatively affects the way you think, feel and act.

It’s relatively common in our society: one in six people will experience depression at some time in their lives. On average, it first appears during the late teens to mid-20s, but it can strike at anytime.

The main symptoms of depression include:

  • feeling sad
  • loss of interest in activities that we once enjoyed
  • changes in appetite (eating too much or too little)
  • troubles sleeping or oversleeping
  • difficulty thinking, concentrating or making decisions
  • loss of energy
  • feeling worthless or guilty
  • thoughts of death and/or suicide

These symptoms have to last at least two weeks for a diagnosis of depression, and don’t have to be present all at once to indicate depression. If you find yourself in these symptoms, please don’t remain silent, talk about it with a loved one and ask for help.

If you have a loved one whom you suspect is suffering from depression, here are some steps you can take to help them.

What I find interesting is the impact depression has on people’s lives and the way they’re perceived by society.

So, who are depressed people? Are they dangerous? Are they annoying? Are they, in any way, different from the rest?

Depressed people are often people who don’t stand out, who are not dangerous and, most of the time, who are really clever. Depression affects the way people think and act, but doesn’t make the ones suffering from it any dangerous or annoying people. Here are some traits that people who suffer from depression usually have in common:

  • They lack energy: they will cancel plans and/or pretend they’re busy all the time to get a little bit of rest.
  • They lack motivation. They usually won’t be able to accomplish the goals they set, due to their lack of motivation.
  • They pretend they’re fine. Depressed people don’t like to admit that they’re feeling sad, and will make up excuses to justify their silent behaviour at times.
  • They have low self esteem. Depressed people don’t see themselves in a positive way, and therefore will make jokes about their personality and/or don’t believe in themselves at all.
  • They keep silent or point out really deep stuff. People who suffer from depression will most likely avoid deep conversations or have a huge part in them. They’re people who like to observe, and this will lead to them pointing out really interesting stuff or stay silent and keep it for themselves.

Apart from these points, which by the way aren’t common to all people suffering from depression, those fighting it are usual people. They’re fighting a battle inside themselves, that takes up energy, time and courage. If you have a friend who’s suffering from depression, remember it’s not that they’re lazy or cannot take things seriously: fighting depression in exhausting, and they’ll need your support at times. Don’t leave them alone in this battle.

Would you like to know more or have something else to share? Write it in the comments below.


10 steps to improve your self confidence

Let’s admit it, self confidence is what we all look for in the people we meet. Someone who knows their worth is attractive, envyable and magnetic. Ever wondered how that girl in your class always had the courage to raise her hand, or how that man looked so respectable? Here are a few ways to improve your self confidence and finally become that person everyone looks up to.

  • Know your worth. This is the first thing you have to do in order to improve your self confidence. Figure out all the stuff you’re good at, and write your better characteristics: you’ll be surprised by how capable you are in different aspects of your life.
  • Observe. Get comfortable with observing people around you. We all have qualities and flaws: being able to recognize and respect them on other people will help you accept yourself.
  • Get comfortable with spending time alone. Go for a walk, meditate, read a book, be a tourist in your own city. Spend some time alone, and learn to appreciate yourself and your surroundings.
  • Laugh at yourself. You’re a great individual, you’re strong and you’re brave, but let’s admit it: you’re a weirdo at times. Remember that time you fell off your bike and looked around to make sure nobody had noticed? The next time, don’t. Laugh at your mistakes, embrace your weirdness and your imperfections.
  • Know your needs and set boundaries. You’re capable of a lot of things, but you’re human: it’s ok to take some rest at times or to take a day off for yourself. Knowing your needs and your limits will help you with giving your best in the right moments.
  • Nourish your body and work out. A healthy body helps your mind work better. Working out is also a boost for your self esteem, and a body you’re proud of will make you more secure about yourself.
  • Compliment and appreciate others. Self confidence starts from the relationships you have with the people who surround you. The more positivity you’ll spread, the more positive you’ll be towards yourself.
  • Don’t take things personally. If someone attacks you for the way you behave, or how you completed a task, analize their views and decide whether they can be useful to improve yourself. If so, express your gratitute towards them for helping you on your journey. Otherwise, remember that a lot of people judge because they’re insecure about themselves. It’s their problem, not yours: accept it and move on.
  • Fake it till you make it. It’s hard, at times, to accept ourselves. Smile at your reflection in the mirror, compliment your choiches about food and the hard work you’ve done in the gym. Smile at strangers in the streets, take big decisions and big risks and pretend to be sure about the outcome. You’ll be surprised about how natural it will all become in the end.
  • Be your biggest cheerleader. Believe in your work and be proud of your results. Appreciate the way you were able to handle things with your friends and how good of an athlete you’ve become. Be your own confident and cheerleader.