Most of the people who come to see me wear a mask. On the outside they smile, laugh and crack jokes but when I hand them my mood questionnaire, I usually see they have thoughts that they wished they were dead or had thoughts of harming themselves. People don’t usually want to say how bad they feel, that they have suicidal thoughts or they’ve had enough of this world. However, having that discussion about feeling suicidal and depressed can really help. The truth is that depression is very common but deadly. This article outlines the signs, the statistics, the myths and the support that is out there. To lose someone from suicide is heartbreaking and an awful legacy to leave. It stays with people forever.
What Depression Feels Like
When people come to see me, they often express they have trouble sleeping. When we talk about interests, they often say that they have given up doing the things they used to enjoy such as seeing friends, reading, sitting down for a while and watching tv. Sometimes, people say they want to cry but can’t or they feel flat. Others say they feel angry. All of these feelings are common signs of depression. Here are some other common signs:
- Eating too little or too much
- Feeling worthless
- Feeling hopeless about the future. Many people feel that nothing will ever get better and this is it now forever. For many people depression feels like a black hole they have fallen down and can’t get out of.
- Feeling as though you have let others down or that you are a failure
- Thoughts that you wished you were dead or thoughts about harming yourself
- Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much.
If you recognise these symptoms in yourself, don’t keep them to yourself. Things can change and get better (even if you don’t believe it!).
The Stats about Depression
Depression is very common, in fact 1 in 10 of us will probably suffer with depression at some point in our lives. 4% of children in the UK have depression. However, just because it’s common doesn’t mean that you should continue to bottle things up. There are lots of organisations that can help including your GP.
Where to go for Help
Here are some organisations that focus on supporting you if you feel depressed or suicidal.
Papyrus- An organisation to prevent suicide in people aged 16-30.
State of Mind- to promote mental health in sportsmen and women, with the ultimate aim of preventing suicide.
The Lions Barber Collective is a organisation to raise awareness for the prevention of suicide in young men. Barbers are trained in listening skills and are able to sign post the best kind of help if you are feeling depressed.
Mens Health Forum is a service that signposts men and boys to organisations they need to live healthier lives.
Mind Info Line can provide information on the types of mental health issues, where to get help, medication and alternative treatments and advocacy.
Calm (Campaign Against Living Miserably). Supports men under the age of 45 to prevent suicide.