It is not easy seeing a loved one struggle. Whether it is your friend or partner or parent or child, you want to be there for them, you want to support them, help them feel better. Caregivers are all too familiar with the helplessness, anger, fatigue, frustration and even the temptation to ask them to ‘get over it already’! Relationships often end up as collateral damage in the wake of depression. It doesn’t have to be that way though!
The term depression is being used quite commonly these days. While I would like to believe this to be a mark of growing awareness regarding mental health, that is not exactly true! Often, ‘depression’ or ‘depressed’ are used loosely as synonyms for sadness. This leads not only to misunderstanding, but even trivialisation of a debilitating health condition, preventing people from reaching out for timely treatment. To avoid labelling all sadness as depression, and more importantly, to know the warning signs – it is important to understand what depression is.