Depression: What You Need To Know

Following the event of one of my most favorite foreign actors Robin Williams' sudden death, it got me thinking, how sad can someone be that it would drive him to end his own life? 

Like any other person, I go through rough patches, I shut myselft out from the rest of the world sometimes and even cry at the slightest provocation but never have I thought about ending my life. I would tell myself, there's just too much to be thankful for and being alive and healthy makes it worthwhile to be alive.

I am not here to pass judgement. I just have a lot of questions myself. I guess it wouldnt hurt to know more about the topic. Who knows? It might come in handy one day. 

     (photo credits to google)

Making It Simple | What is Depression? 

They say it is more than simple sadness. It is something much much more bleak and only those who have gone through it can clearly describe the feeling. 

According to

Some people describe depression as “living in a black hole” or having a feeling of impending doom. However, some depressed people don't feel sad at all—they may feel lifeless, empty, and apathetic, or men in particular may even feel angry, aggressive, and restless.

Things To Look Out For | Symptoms of Depression

Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. 
A bleak outlook—nothing will ever get better and there’s nothing you can do to improve your situation.
Loss of interest in daily activities. 
No interest in former hobbies, pastimes, social activities, or sex. You’ve lost your ability to feel joy and pleasure.
Appetite or weight changes. 
Significant weight loss or weight gain—a change of more than 5% of body weight in a month.
Sleep changes. 
Either insomnia, especially waking in the early hours of the morning, or oversleeping (also known as hypersomnia).
Anger or irritability. 
Feeling agitated, restless, or even violent. Your tolerance level is low, your temper short, and everything and everyone gets on your nerves.
Loss of energy.
Feeling fatigued, sluggish, and physically drained. Your whole body may feel heavy, and even small tasks are exhausting or take longer to complete.
Strong feelings of worthlessness or guilt. You harshly criticize yourself for perceived faults and mistakes.
Reckless behavior. 
You engage in escapist behavior such as substance abuse, compulsive gambling, reckless driving, or dangerous sports.
Concentration problems. 
Trouble focusing, making decisions, or remembering things.
Unexplained aches and pains. 
An increase in physical complaints such as headaches, back pain, aching muscles, and stomach pain.


I guess, having one or more than two signs of the following are reasons enough to seek support. It is better to nip it in the bud before worse things happen.

Why | Know The Reasons

Lack of social support
Recent stressful life experiences
Family history of depression
Marital or relationship problems
Financial strain
Early childhood trauma or abuse
Alcohol or drug abuse
Unemployment or underemployment
Health problems or chronic pain


Being Part Of The Solution | What You Can Do

I'd like to think we Filipinos are naturally happy people, I guess we are genetically made up that way, that's why when a friend or loved one tells us they're depressed, we usually treat it as a joke and forget the subject. We don't realize that at this point, they could be telling the truth and we discover we are mistaken when it is much too late.

One of this conditions' fatal effect could be suicide. It is best to know suicidal signs in a depressed person. 

Warning signs of suicide include:
Talking about killing or harming one’s self
Expressing strong feelings of hopelessness or being trapped
An unusual preoccupation with death or dying
Acting recklessly, as if they have a death wish (e.g. speeding through red lights)
Calling or visiting people to say goodbye
Getting affairs in order (giving away prized possessions, tying up loose ends)
Saying things like “Everyone would be better off without me” or “I want out”
A sudden switch from being extremely depressed to acting calm and happy


Be a friend. It will greatly help to listen, to actually listen to what a depressed individual is saying. Do not pass it off as a joke or drama. Your understanding and listening can actually save someones' life. 

Intervention | Seek Professional Help

According to WHO ( World Health Organization), there are 4.5 MILLION depressed Filipinos. This makes the Philippines the 1st in Southeast Asia with the most number of depressed people. 

I repeat, I'd like to think we Filipinos are naturally happy people and yet, this statistical data surprises me. This could be attributed to a lot of different factors though, such as poverty or hunger. With the alarming increase in numbers, it would be ideal to have support groups and support centers in the country readily available for those who need help. However, it looks like a struggle in the country. 

According to the DOH (Department of Health), the ultimate reason for this is the lack of funds. 

Thankfully, there are NGO's who took it upon themselves to form support groups. The following will prove to be useful when a friend or a loved one needs professional intervention:

*Natasha Goulbourn Foundation (NGF) - "Hopeline" the first ever suicide hotline in the country. Their numbers are 02.804HOPE (4673), 0917.558.HOPE (4673) or 2919 Toll free number for all Globe and TM users.  For more info, visit:

*Anxiety and Depression Support Philippines (ADSP)

Now I Know:

Sadness. Though to some of us maybe a normal everyday emotion we encounter, to some people, it is a much bigger emotion with deeper meaning. 

They say, a persons' mind is a bottomless pit of knowledge that triggers the emotions. Nobody can tell exactly how or why someone does the things they do. I don't pretend to be an expert on this matter but I'm hoping against all hopes that this would help.

Sources:, wikipedia 

Rolled Into One Mom

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