The death of Oscar-winning actor, Robin Williams, from an apparent suicide on Monday is a reminder of the possible tragic consequence of depression. Many people wear a mask of happiness in public while they live with a private storm killing them inside. Untreated depression can affect how you think, feel and behave and lead to emotional, mental and physical problems. For those in denial or anybody living with someone having the blues, here are 11 signs of what has been described as the common cold of mental illness.
1. Sleeping too much or not enough.
2. Interest in death and suicide.
3. Poor nutrition.
4. Loss of interest in normal daily activities.
5. Decreased or lack of energy.
6. Persistent feeling of sadness.
7. Feeling helpless, hopeless and worthless.
8. You laugh and cry at times that don’t call for it.
9. Difficulty concentrating and making decisions.
10. Aches and pains that don’t get better with treatment.
11. Loss of interest in sex
12. Conflicts quickly escalate into fights
13. You have trouble accepting praise or goodwill
14. You work harder, not smarter.
15. Heavy drinking
If you have one or more of these symptoms, reach out for help immediately. Depression is a jealous lover. It won’t let go easily. It is no chicken pox, said one comedian. You don’t beat it once and it disappears. Seek help from your family, doctor or counsellor. Change your daily routine, challenge negative thought patterns, try something new and go have some fun. Don’t wait for something tragic before you take your life back. Do not become another statistics.