Depression and mental illness is not something to be taken lightly. The condition, which can often go undetected for years, can suddenly rear its head and destroy people’s lives.
Suicide stories are never far away from the “farang” styled news websites in Thailand. Many of these deaths are preventable, if the right help is available.
So it is exciting news when the Ministry of Public Health is campaigning to fight depression and suicide on World Health Day, calling on people to look after those around them with the theme “Let’s Talk”.
It is well known that many people refuse to seek help because of the stigma attached to mental health or for fear of being ridiculed by those who do not understand the illness. And it is an ILLNESS.
Support is not always available in many countries, so depression sufferers are left to their own devices, which often ends in loss of life.
A person who suffers from depression often appears irritable, tired, bored, self-critical, and unable to focus. Weight loss or gain is usually evident in a depression sufferer and will either sleep to ease their suffering or endure periods of insomnia.
If you think you know someone who is at risk, do not criticise them or say things like “pull yourself together” for all you will do is make matters worse. Instead, simply be there for them. Let them talk freely without interruption. Listening is the best thing you can do for a depression sufferer.
If you believe they may harm themselves, you must seek professional help as soon as possible.
Remember not all illnesses are visible.