Gareth from the Office: Don’t suffer in silence

upset boy against a wall
upset boy against a wall

IF you’re sick people see you’re ill, if you sneeze then people assume you have a cold but how do you let someone know you have depression.

Up to 20 per cent of people across the UK will experience symptoms of depression at some time but how many people understand what it is?

The symptoms of depression can be unnoticeable but can eventually lead to people feeling that they can’t physically cope any more.

The early signs of depression can include exhaustion when you wake up, early waking and difficulty getting back to sleep.

People can also suffer anxious worrying and intrusive upsetting thoughts and become emotional or upset for no particular reason.

The first onset of major depression usually hits people between the ages of 25 and 29 and can come from a number of factors including a family bereavement or change in any aspect of someone’s life.

And it’s not as simple as just having a bad week. It’s naïve of people to say ‘Oh you’re just having a bad day’ because depression can last for so much longer and once you suffer with it the smallest incident or word can trigger a feeling of depression that can last so much longer than the original statement.

So what is depression? If we understood it better then maybe we could get to the bottom of people’s problems and why they feel the need to take drastic measures to get out away from it all.

If someone is suffering with depression they may try and reach out to you. Don’t turn them away. You never know that one act of kindness could make them feel a whole lot better, it could have been what they were reaching out for.

I know what it is like to go through it, as a member of my family has suffered with it. Thankfully they are on top of it now but it has been worrying.

They say depression is hereditary or in your genes but it isn’t. A parent battling it does not mean the child will automatically ‘pass it on’. Sure the life lessons that a parent imparts on a child will make a difference; trust me, I have traits of both of my parents, but it is not in your genes.

Families and friends can be so important in the battle against depression and so I always make sure I make time for people.

I also have a very positive outlook on life, I have been through heartbreak, tragedy and a number of setbacks through my 26 years and if depression was hereditary I would have suffered greatly.

So the next time someone seems a bit down don’t just pass it off as a bad week – they could be silently suffering worse than you can imagine.