I think for any individual person to really understand depression, you’d have to experience it personally. Now again, this is only my opinion. I think even psychiatrists and psychologists who treat us for our mental conditions don’t know the personal effects of depression. Yes they do apply their education on Mental Illnesses to us in very good ways. By no means am I minimizing their abilities to perform their professions in effect ways. It’s kind of like the Drug & Alcohol Counselors who have the education to perform their professions in a very effective way, but in many cases these counselors have had personal bouts with either drugs or alcohol, or both.
I want use any statistics or add any links on mental illness because again I am only speaking from personal experience.
Professionals give us the symptoms of mental illnesses but we as family, friends & loved ones could play an important role in identifying mental and physical changes to those who are close to us who may be experiencing some type of mental illness. Most of us can physically see the changes in those close to us but we don’t become proactive in stepping in to find out the dept of that person’s condition. Many people who experience some type of mental illness may be able to continue on with their daily activities but totally lose it once they get home or alone.
At one point during the worst part of one of my bouts with depression I worked a full time job (40-60 hrs per week), and officiated various sports (children to adult leagues). At the beginning of this bout I wasn’t having many problems at work so therefore at that time I was able to carry on with my daily work activities. And many days after work I had games to officiate which was really my Safe Haven. Because of my love for the craft when I officiated most of my games I’m in a totally different atmosphere which makes each game a form of therapy within themselves. But then I got sick because my body was tearing down as a result of the depression. I started having problems at work, partly because of my many absences with tests being run for two years before I was diagnosed with Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease. By this time not only am I depressed because of my personal problems but my job became very depressing. Most mornings when I got up for work I would have uncontrollable diarrhea which came as results of my anxiety attacks with just the thought of going to my job.
For at least three months of going through these extreme conditions I was living in the same house with three other individuals but felt as though I was on an island by myself. They cared less for me or my depression. After those three cruel months I was living alone and by myself. As I said before I do know some of us may be at some point of our deep depression or mental illness still able to look fully functional to the outside world but our hearts and minds are just like jig saw puzzles with the pieces scattered all over the table.
If you know anybody who’s had a bad bout with life and you can identify the changes in this person’s life then you may be witnessing a person who is experiencing some type of mental illness. Nobody needs to be alone. Many people who experience mental illness may have worst bouts having to deal with it alone. I know we live in a world that’s totally different than it was years ago when people more than welcomed your care and concern for them and/or their affairs. If you feel this is the case with anybody you know, do your best to let that person know that you are there for them if they ever need to talk or a shoulder to cry on. Your being there may be the only close human contact that this person will allow to enter there personal space. This is the best time to be a listener and not a judge or jury. Your are not there to be critical but to be supportive.
We never know what’s going on in the hearts & minds of people experiencing mental illnesses, but by us being there for them and showing genuine love and concern, we could very well one day help to save somebody’s life.