Do you ever get suspicious if someone says that they are suffering from depression? Does it make you feel that it is just an excuse from taking responsibility for their behavior?
You are not alone. Most people who have never experienced clinical depression have a hard time understanding the behaviors of a depressed person. How can you understand a person is suffering from clinical depression and differentiate them from a person just not taking the responsibility? In this blog, I will share the signs of depression and how to deal with them in a few stories with you to give you an insight and to break some myths associated with this ailment.
For today’s story, let’s learn with Andrew.
He is a 30 yr old male who has never experienced depression in his life. He has been sad at times but has always pulled himself out of his depressed mood within minutes. Andrew is a healthy, fit adult, and feels invincible. He works as a supervisor in a small construction company. One of his crew members, John, developed depression signs and Andrew almost lost respect for John. He thought that John is just trying to get out of his responsibilities although he knew that John was one of the most productive members of his crew in the past. As John’s absences increased and productivity decreased, Andrew became frustrated. However, instead of lashing out, he decided to learn more and figure out how he can help John and make him productive again.
In his research, he came across a video that was a part of the World Health Organization ( WHO)’s “Depression: let’s talk” campaign.
He was most touched by the video by writer and illustrator Matthew Johnstone on the signs and effects of depression. “ I had a black dog; his name was Depression. “ (you can also view more helpful videos about depression here )
He realized why John went from the most productive member of the team to not being able to function at a basic level. Why he was frequently absent and not producing at his previous capacity. Andrew’s reaction changed. He sat down and talked with John. When Andrew said, “I realize how you must be feeling so let’s take steps to help you get better,” John felt a new motivation. Andrew allowed John to take time off to attend his doctor’s appointments. He allowed him to modify his work to decrease his stress level. As John worked in psychotherapy and took antidepressant medications, he started getting better. It took some time, however, John was back to his previous level of functioning and became an asset for Andrew’s team again.
As a leader, Andrew always wanted to remain alert to any signs of depression amongst his crew members, so that he can help them in the initial stages.
He learned about the Campaign to Change Direction.
The goal of the Campaign to Change Direction is to change the culture of mental health in America so that all of those in need receive the care and support they deserve. The Campaign encourages all Americans to pay attention to their emotional well-being – and it reminds us that our emotional well-being is just as important as our physical well-being.
He took the Pledge with the Campaign to know the five signs.
Know the Five Signs that may mean someone is in emotional pain and might need help:
When his wife started experiencing depression, he saw the five signs in her and mentioned the possibility of depression. His wife initially resisted and said, “Do you think, I am crazy?”. He supported her kindly and shared the WHO video “I had a black dog. Its name was depression“. His wife accepted her illness and got the help she needed. As she felt better, so did the whole family.
By becoming aware of the devastating effect of this silent illness, Andrew could increase the productivity of his team and harmony in his family. He was able to save lives.
Take care of yourself and people you love, check-in frequently and know the five signs. Provide encouragement and support in seeking help.
If you don’t become aware of this silent killer, you may lose your co-workers, your friends, or your family. If you become aware, you may be able to save lives and prevent suffering for yourself and your loved ones.
You can check the depression criteria to screen if you or the person you care about is just feeling sad or meet the criteria for clinical depression using this PHQ-9 form.
Disclaimer: The tools and techniques I teach have proven to be highly successful for improving health and happiness for many but they are not intended to replace treatment. I cannot take any liability, as engaging with me online is for empowering you with education only and does not establish a treatment relationship.
Please consult your personal healthcare provider for specific treatment recommendations.
Let me know what you found most useful and if you have any questions.
Dedicated to your health and happiness
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I share many tools and techniques that I have found to be helpful. They are not intended to replace treatments. Please seek treatment from licensed medical or health professionals as needed. I change all names for privacy.
What a great article! I wish more people were like Andrew. I really takes a special person to try to understand other people on a deeper level. Many would say “well he just doesn’t care any more” and be rid of the employee.