Daily Life

What Does Depression Feels Like and How To Simply Reduce It

5:56 am

Today I am going to start my #30dayswritingchallenge with a topic that I never concerned before, depression. I brought up this topic not because of I feel depressed myself,  no, no. The trigger was came from the story of my friend that told me if she's got diagnosed as a depressed patient by her psychiatrist.  I made this post based on her story, my friend who was a junior psychologist and also some articles which was written about depression cases.  So here is it.

Depression feels like
Happy people weren't always happy. Some of them maybe were really in a not okay condition, but they cover it with smile so we won't ask too much about their life. We will only saw that they were really happy without ever thought that they were broken inside. And this was happened towards my friend's life.  Like I said before, I will tell you what is it like to be depressed based on my friend's story.  Not so long ago (which is last Wednesday) my friend told me that she was depressed. Her depression was came from her social life and also came from her family's problem. She's a very social person which had to be always interacted with people, to help and to be helped. But all that social life was changed almost 180 percent when she got into her new campus, The most distinguish campus in Bandung. She said the environment  in her campus was too individualist and she couldn't  bear with that condition.  This environment changed her bit by bit. She became fragile, paranoid, easily panicked, and even had cramps all over her body just because she was stood in a crowded place. She became a person who was always over thinking about something which are happened around her. She always worried. She can be stressed just after a person said something to her. It became worse and worse, so she decided to go to a psychiatrist to get a therapy.

I'm new for this. I never had a friend who are depressed before, and I still don't understand why would a person be depressed. So I asked to my senior in my office which was a psychologist. The depression that my friend had was probably came because she can’t handle her expectation and her thought. Her over apprehensive bit by bit became a physical problem. That’s why she will easily faint or even had a sudden catalepsy in the middle of a crowded place because her body was as weakening  as her mind.  I agreed to that opinion.  As per American Psychological Association's study, a sad person has lower amount of immune in their body. This statement strengthened by Dr. Esther Sternberg's  opinion that a person who were always sad and worried are easily sick because many of the nerve pathways and molecules underlying both psychological responses and inflammatory disease are the same.

When I told my-psychologist-friend that my friend was already given some anti depressant by her psychiatrist, she startled. Then she explained to me, there are 4 levels of depression, the first one is frustration, the second is the hard frustration, and then depression,  the next level is hard depression, and the last one is loony (so hard tho find another word i/o crazy). A person which already suggested to consume anti depressant means his/her level of depression were already in the fourth level, which is the hard one. I was speechless, I didn't know that my friend was already in a really bad condition. After a long talk, my-psychologist-friend gave me some advises about mental health 101. When you already feel depressed and you thought you need someone to help you go through that step, go to a psychologist first and don't directly go to the psychiatrist. Psychologist do the therapy with mind setting, while psychiatrist do the therapy with drugs which were potentially addictive to you.

How we should act as a friend of a depressed person
I never thought I have a happy friend yet a fragile one. I did confuse how to deal with a friend with that condition. Did I have to be careful in my way of speak toward her? Did I have to be more understanding in this situation? Or did I just have to act normally like there's nothing happened?  my-psychologist-friend explained to me that we as a friend shouldn't have to be too understanding to the patient with depression. If we showed too much tolerance, it wouldn’t be good for the patient either and they will hardly learn how to deal with the situation. Just be normal, so he/she will learn how to handle people by himself/herself.  BUT, we still need to keep an eye on the patient so when he/she looks like can't handle the problem, we are there to conquer the bad thoughts. Really guys, depression is a problem that we should concern by now. There's an article said that in this era, there are a lot of people depressed just because they're feeling lonely.  We're a social creatures, feeling lonely does kill you slowly. So please go out and make friends. Search some friends that you can share you thought with. And don’t forget to be friend with a person who looks lonely.

Simple tips to reduce the depression
Alhamdulillah, one of my friend recommend me to read articles from an android app called CURIOSITY. In that application I found an interesting article about one of a simple way to alleviate the symptoms of depression. That article said that one way to keep depression at bay is to deprive out time of sleep. It said a little sleep deprivation may be an effective antidepressant according to the conclusion of 66 studies related to sleep and depression. That short sleeping time may make you wake up cranky, but it did kill the depression in nearly half of all depressed patient. These study was officially published in September 2017 in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.

This studies said, the half sleep deprivation (sleep for 3-4 hours a day) worked as effective as the total sleep deprivation (Woke up 36 hours nonstop) and it proved for being a faster depression killer than the kick of drugs. When anti depressant pills takes weeks (or probably longer) to kick into the effect, this sleep deprivation just need 24 hours to get the clinical improvement.

The interesting part is, as a Muslim, I already know that the best time of sleep is 4-5 hours a day, not eight. A lot of studies said the best time of sleep in a day is 8 hour, but our religion said we should take a little time of sleep. In Al-Qur'an there is a deliberation about the characteristic of pious people in surah Adz_Zariyat: 18-17 which said "Di Dunia mereka sedikit sekali tidur di waktu malam. Dan selalu memohonkan ampunan di waktu pagi sebelum fajar". Allah laid a strict injection on Prophet Muhammad not to sleep too much and he should replaced that time with Zikir. We suggested to wake up in the last third time of the day (which is about in 3 or 4 in the morning)and do the qiyamullail (Night pray) and continue with reading Al-Qur'an and worship Allah at least 15 minutes before we start our activities. Before the researcher do a lot of research about the most effective time of sleeping , we already been suggested to do the sleep deprivation by our God. MasyaAllah.  If you feel depressed in any case, you may try this simple therapy. Easy to do and not even cost you a penny.

XOXO -unemenel-

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