Unless you have spent the majority of your life isolated from others, the chances are you will have regularly encountered people with depression. After all, the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimated that 16 million American adults suffered with depression in 2012 alone, while a further 350 million instances are recorded across the globe each year.
Despite this, depression remains the subject of numerous misconceptions, as people fail to understand its severity and continue to consider happiness as a choice. In fact, those who suffer from depression are bound by their emotions and forced to display considerable resilience in the face of their illness, while also coping with the ignorance of others.
8 Awards that People with Depression Truly Deserve to Win
So, let’s explore the struggles that people with depression face on a daily basis, while beginning to understand the awards they deserve for coping in the face of such adversity:
1. They Deserve an Award for their Tenacity
Clearly, people who suffer with depression are required to display considerable tenacity. This usually manifests itself in a desire to find a purpose in life, while they are also inclined to pursue self-improvement at every available opportunity. This is because they are driven by internal feelings of inadequacy and fear, while their desire to compensate for often intangible voids in their life mean that they are constantly fighting to find a rewarding purpose.
There are certainly ample opportunities for growth out their, from apprenticeships and courses of higher education to more unorthodox outlets such as a drive to learn scholarship. Those with depression will continue to seek out such opportunities with incredible determination, no matter how many times they may fail to find what they are looking for.
2. They Deserve an Award for their Compassion
Despite the misgivings of some, depression is an illness that disrupts nerve cells in the brain and alters thinking patterns. It therefore changes outlooks, making those who suffer with depression more capable of identifying sadness in others while showcasing support and compassion in equal measure.
This also taps into the fact that those who are depressed typically have an outward perspective, as they focus on helping others rather than channelling their own feelings of sadness and anxiety. Such an approach benefits others, however, especially those who are suffering from similar issues.
3. They Deserve an Award for their Consideration of Others
It is easy to see a smiling face and take this as a sign of internal happiness, but this is just one of the misconceptions that betray people who suffer with depression. In fact, these individuals often make a concerted and intentional effort to appear happy and upbeat, especially as they learn to deal with their condition and develop coping mechanisms.
While those with depression may have learned how to alter their mood when out in public, however, they are more likely to display their real feelings when alone. This suggests that their happy and upbeat visage is created for the benefit of others, so that friends, colleagues and loved ones are not adversely affected.
4. They Deserve an Award for their levels of Creative Expression
While depression is a variable illness that affects different personality types in numerous ways, there are some universal themes that unite most sufferers. It is believed that those who are depressed become more profound and creative thinkers, for example, as they ruminate on their thoughts and consider even abstract topics in greater depth. This is a great amplifier of depression, and the link between this and creative expression remains exceptionally strong.
This is reflected by the fact that many life-changing artists and musicians have suffered with depression, as their emotional angst has helped to fuel incredibly creative images, sculptures and songs. Many of these individuals have won countless awards for their creative output, and this is one prize that sufferers deserve to be credited with.
5. They Deserve an Award for their ability to cope with Morbid Thoughts
While such depth of thought can trigger profound greatness, it can also trigger morbid feelings and an obsession with death. Certainly those with depression have complex thought processes in relation to life and death, as they develop an involved perception of the two and are constantly forced to confront dark and hopeless mind-sets.
Whether they have suffered from suicidal thoughts or not, those with depression regularly consider their own mortality and existence in the world. Such musings can become increasingly frequent depending on each individuals’ life circumstances, and learning to cope with these on a regular basis requires incredible inner strength and durability.
6. They Deserve an Award for Managing Irregular Sleep Patterns
As if such dark and contrasting mind-sets were not enough to cope with, those with depression must also learn to manage irregular sleeping patterns. More specifically, they tend to suffer from excesses of sleep, as they either spend to much time resting or fail to get any shut-eye at all. Such irregular cycles can have a negative impact on our mental health, creating a debilitating cycle where the symptoms of depression can be exacerbated.
This also robs people who are depressed from one of the few things that they can control, which is the ability to dictate their own sleeping pattern. Given this and the impact of irregular cycles, those with depression must be praised for their strong coping skills.
7. They Deserve an Award for their levels of Patience
Depression is a unique illness in more ways than one, but it is most unusual in so much that it is sufferers that usually need to support their friends and loved ones. After all, while those who suffer with depression are usually in tune with their feelings and able to develop coping mechanisms, those close to us are hamstrung by a lack of understanding the complex manifestation of symptoms.
This means that people with depression must showcase incredible levels of patience, as they look to communicate with their loved ones and help them to understand their feelings. Otherwise, they run the risk of undermining even long-standing friendships and isolating themselves from people who simply can’t comprehend certain behaviours.
8. They Deserve an Award for their Outward Focus
We have already touched on the fact that people with depression are constantly seeking out a higher purpose in life, and this is part of an outward focus that can create significant value. This is best embodied by the great Abraham Lincoln, who fought clinical depression all of his life and sought to change this by turning to the greater cause of emancipation and the abolishment of slavery.
So not only can such an outward focus help depressed individuals to find a fulfilling purpose in life, but it can also benefit their loved ones and the world around them. This is truly rewarding, and something that deserves genuine merit.