Feeling down is normal. Lots of people are feeling blue as you are reading these lines considering the likelihood of something bad happening each day you live. Maybe you feel bad for just one day or a week, maybe even two weeks. That may be awful for a foreseeable period of time and things will even out eventually.
What I want to talk about however is "depression".
Generally speaking, depression refers to the state of feeling terrible during an unforeseeably long time, like 6 months, 1 year or even more years for instance.
When we imagine a depressed person, we most likely think of someone who cries a lot, who is always sad and who talks about killing themselves. Which, of course, is true, but only to a very small extent.
Leaving out the causes which can trigger dipression to keep this a little shorter, I'm going to list major symptoms first, and then minor ones :
1. Having zero ambition / zero ambition for things that other would find joyful or the depressed person used to find joy in
2. Sleeping nothing at all or sleeping extremely much
3. Distancing oneself from others, from everyone practically, social withdrawal
4. A present feeling of fear and / or desperation
5. Starting to cry for no apparent reason
6. Suicidal thoughts / tendencies / suicide attempts
7. Drug abuse : medication, alcohol, cigarettes, etc.
8. Self inflicted injuries
9. A feeling of worthlessness combined with helplessness
10. Significant weight gain or weight loss
Minor symptoms are for example ( Minor, because they only occasionally)
1. Experiencing moments of relief - the depressed person suddenly feels alright again
2. Giving away their property to friends - the depressed individual has decided to commit suicide
3. Suddenly being happy for a long time : they have come to the decision that their pain will be gone when they kill themselves
4. An inability to focus
Moreover, there are 3 degrees of how severe a depression can be - mild, moderate and severe
And in addition to that, there is one thing called "manic depression", which means that the depression occurs in phases but disappears for some time again, but then comes back all of a sudden. It's like a bubble gum you stepped on that won't fall off.
Dear people, if you know someone who shows these signs, calm them down, talk things through with them - but don't become their "therapist", that's the task of a proffessional. Don't leave the depressed person alone if they reject your help- that's a sign they are severely depressed and urgently need therapeutic help. It may be on you to consult a therapist for a depressed person, they will probably not seek help, since they want to be left alone in most cases.
I myself had a severe depression for two years and have managed to overcome it thanks to the help of a patient therapist. It was a relative of mine who initiated everything and helped me take the first crucial steps. I had therapy during these two terrible years and it helped me understand myself better and why I became so badly depressed in the first place.
It may sound ridiculous, but that phase of my life has helped me become who I am now.
That was it.
I hope my example shows others they are not and never alone.