Depression is a medical condition and the most common mental health issue in our population. Most people experience some days of depression, especially in troubled times. If you are depressed for more than two weeks, you probably should tell your doctor and get a referral to a mental health counselor.
How do you identify depression?
- Persistent Sadness: When sadness lasts for days or weeks, especially when it is accompanied by feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, helplessness, depression, might be the cause. Sometimes you might feel sad and have no idea what you are really sad about.
- Worthlessness can lead a person to suicidal thoughts and even suicidal attempts. If a person feels worthless than he/she is more likely to withdraw from social contact, to become lethargic, start abusing with alcohol and often with drugs too. Over time a person may even neglect self-care like eating, taking a shower, changing clothes, washing clothes, etc.
- A depressed person will respond differently to guilt compared to a person without depression. There will be exaggerated guilt over little things, leading to more and more negative thinking.
- Anhedoinia is a major sign of depression. Anhedonia is the loss of interest in family, friends, food, any of the things that once felt good. This then feeds into the guilt and other negative feelings.
- Disrupted sleep pattern. Depressed people may go to sleep but not be able to stay asleep. Or they may lie for long periods of time without being able to go to sleep. Of course, this is going to change their energy level even more.
- Loss of focus and memory problems are another sign. They will have trouble getting things done and function normally.
- Suicidal thoughts are the most dangerous symptom of depression. Anyone who has thoughts of suicide or death needs to get help right away. They should not wait when they seem to go away, because they will probably return and bring them closer to self harm actions.
- Constant fatigue, low energy, and tiredness are part of the experience of depression. It isolates them, which will make them feel even more tired and even more depressed. This is a circle is hard to escapefrom which it’s hard to escape. Fatigue will affect a depressed person both physically and emotionally.
- Weight gain or loss is common. Overeating is more likely in early stages of depression, while loss of appetite and not eating may be present in deeper depression.
( Information taken from : https://10faq.com/health/signs-of-depression/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIrqPOqLa96AIVFYrICh1mkA0iEAAYBiAAEgJrffD_BwE where there is even more detail.)
I've been depressed for most of my life. For many years I didn't know what was wrong with me. Eventually I had a doctor who recognized what was going on and prescribed antidepressants, which helped.
I became a mental health counselor and learned a great deal more about my malady. In the years since I've had periods when the struggle was difficult and times when I functioned well. I have learned that the medication alone isn't enough and that I have to take some life-style steps.
It is these steps I will share next week.