Many people experiencing the symptoms of depression might begin to wonder if there is something really wrong with them. One typical fear is that they might be going crazy. Unfortunately, the reactions and comments from other people such as, “Just get yourself together!” are not very helpful. Although you might feel alone in your struggle against depressive moods, the reality is that many people experience these moods from time to time, or even regularly. In fact, it is estimated that 1 in every 4 people experience significantly depressed mood at some time in their life.
Depression can affect any kind of person at any stage of their life. You may be an introvert or an extrovert, socially active or shy, youthful or elderly, male or female, wealthy or poor. Whatever your distinction, you can become depressed. That means that any person you know is fair game. So remember, you are not alone.
Depression is a word used in everyday language to describe a number of feelings, including sadness, frustration, disappointment and sometimes lethargy. However, in clinical practice, the term “Depression” or “Major Depression” differs from these everyday ‘down’ periods in three main ways:
- Major Depression is more intense
- Major Depression lasts longer (two weeks or more)
- Major Depression significantly interferes with effective day-to-day functioning.
So here, the word depression is referring to Major Depression or a clinical depression.
- Are you feeling helpless and hopeless, and as if nothing will get better?
- Do you feel tired, sluggish and that you have no energy?
- Do you feel worthless, guilty and often criticize yourself harshly?
- Do you feel angry or irritable, and everyone gets on your nerves?
- Have you lost interest in daily activities?
- Do you have trouble making decisions and concentrating?
- Are you constantly having negative thoughts?
- Are your relationships suffering as a result of your mood?
- Have you lost your appetite or can’t stop eating?
- Are you consuming more alcohol than normal or engaging in reckless behavior?
If Your Answer is Yes!
If your answer is Yes to any of the above questions, depression is dragging you slowly. Depression is sneaky. Sometimes depressed people develop “depressive realism” where they believe that for the first time they are seeing the world or their life for how it truly is – empty and meaningless. You may think that others look at the world through rose-colored glasses and are naive to the reality of how sad the world really is. This can make it very difficult to understand that what you are dealing with is in fact depression.
Hopelessness or thoughts of death or suicide also may be present in the course of a depressive episode. If suicidal thoughts are present, you should not hesitate in getting help! Call 999 immediately or take yourself to the nearest emergency room if you are worried about yourself or loved one taking their own life.
You don’t have to do this alone, even if you feel like you are alone in your life. No matter how hopeless or helpless you might feel, there is always a spark of hope and help is available for you. You deserve to live life with a sense of calm, peace, happiness, and joy. Let us help you get there…