Knock. Knock. Who's there...?


How would you describe the most unwelcome guest you ever had? Aggressive. Inconvenient. Pushy. Opportunistic. Negative.

When you have a guest that shows up no matter bad a timing it is. When you have a guest that talks over you and won’t let you formulate a clear thought let alone get a word in. When you have had a guest that expects favours and is constantly negative about everything you do or would like to do. This is the type of guest I like to call the “depression” – the illness.

We have all felt blue and sad every now and then. That’s Normal. But there is a difference with occasional feelings of disappointments and a chronic dark cloud that follows you around on a daily basis. Most medical specialists believe that when this dark feeling starts to interfere with your day-to-day life, it’s probably time to seek help. Depression has hit close friends and family members of mine so, I tend to agree with what the Doctors say on this.

For folks who migrate to a new environment or has recently had a change of circumstances in their lives, this guest can squeak into your life very slowly. It can start off as dissatisfaction with your new status.  If care is not taken, it can materialize into a long-term unwanted guest. Sadly, this is usually because most of us are in denial when it starts. It also can be hereditary. My theory is that it can also be a highly opportunistic disease because it can be brought on by traumatic events in life. I speak from the experience in my interactions with close family and friends.

Students, teenagers and even babies can be depressed. In a psychological publication written by Drs. Dinesh Bhugra and Oyedeji Ayonrinde, it was quoted that almost twice as many immigrant students displayed signs of depression than native UK students.

What are the tell tale signs? I am no doctor but some of them are:

1. Addiction to substance: Constantly getting high either from alcohol or drugs is a distinct sign that you are hiding your depression. Substance abuse is often a way to cover-up and cope with the intense feelings of high and low that is associated with chronic depression. A very close friend of mine was labelled an alcoholic but it wasn’t until after a serious episode that he was diagnosed of chronic depression. As soon as he was put on the right medication everything changed for the better.

2. Aggressive behaviour: Anger over little things or inability to get over this kind of excessive anger is a sign also. If you find yourself erratically swerving while driving because you can’t stand other motorists, check yourself. This is not the occasional act of passing “grandma” driver in front of you. But, there is adistinct feel to this one. Teenagers who end up being arrested multiple times often have this depression. Without knowing how to deal with the ups and downs, and the gap between their dreams and reality, they get themselves in all kinds of problem with the law. True talk guys.

3. Thoughts of Suicide: this is the most serious one. Persistent thoughts that you should end your life is dangerous. Seek help immediately.

4. Lack of interest in doing what was once enjoyed: When my brother’s depression began, he started to withdraw from family dinners and indulge in highly disruptive behaviour. There is a distinct lack of drive to get up and go on a daily basis. The result is loss of friends, employment and even dignity which spirals out of control.

5. Obsession with new found interests: The opposite of lack of motivation is obsession. Liking a hobby is healthy. But liking a hobby to the point where you are unable to interact with loved ones, sleep, or eat is probably not a good sign of sanity. My friend started to get intoxicated to get the drive to keep going on a daily basis and then got really intensely involved in a new habit. In the end, this will be disastrous. Normally, as humans we know how to strike a balance in life and get readjusted when things get out of hand. But like a horrible guest, chronic depression will not allow you to get that time to yourself. It will judge you and condemn you.

6. Trouble sleeping through the night or excessive sleeping. In ability to self regulate your sleeping habits can cause depression and anxiety. Inconvenient guests don’t let you sleep, so will depression…sometimes. Depression is extremely pushy. You can not ignore it.

The above list consist of the signs that I personally have noticed in close family and friends who were later diagnosed of this illness. There are tons more signs.To learn more visit this website.

Bros and sis, no need to be in denial. No shame in it. This thing can be managed. Don’t let pride get in the way of having an enjoyable life. If you notice your friends and family members exhibiting some worrisome personality changes, talk to them. Tell them you support them no matter what and then persuade them to seek help.

Knock. Knock. It’s depression…open your door. How will you answer?Check out some of the tips on how to cope with seasonal depression.