Depression can be a crippling condition, with both physical, interpersonal, and psychological impacts. Finding help for depression can be relatively easy, but knowing when you actually need help, is not as straightforward. For some, even accepting that they have depression, can be difficult.
Everyone goes through stages of depression, but clinical depression is a much more serious case. Persistent negative feelings that endure over weeks, or even months, mean that it is time to seek help, so that you can get back to enjoying life.
Accepting the Signs that You’re Suffering from Depression
Depression can come in many forms, but when you are suffering from serious clinical depression, you will recognize at least some of the physical and psychological symptoms.
Physically, you may notice a change in your appetite, and potential weight loss. Not as common, but still a possibility, is depression related weight gain. A lack of energy is also a characteristic of depression, and you may even find that your regular movements and reactions are sluggish. An uncharacteristic loss of libido can also be an indicator of depression.
Psychological symptoms can fit into the umbrella description of having a ‘low mood’. Lack of self-esteem, unnecessary guilt, hopelessness and helplessness, intense sadness, a desire to cry, anxiety, and irritability are all symptoms. In serious cases, self-harm and suicide may become regular impulses. In these cases, it is essential that you seek help immediately.
If you are failing to perform at work, finding lack of enjoyment in social situations, or isolating yourself from the people that you care about, the causes are often rooted in your depression. It’s time to talk to a professional, before irreparable damage is made to your career and relationships.
Seeking Professional Help
The very symptoms of depression can make it hard for you to seek out help, even when the signs are there. Think of depression like any medical condition. You wouldn’t ignore a deep cut, persistent migraine, or an unusual pain in your abdomen. Depression should be treated just as seriously. You cannot begin the healing process without seeing a professional.
Ask yourself the following questions;
- Has your low mood persisted for more than a week, and are you finding it hard to see a way out?
- Have you lost interest in hobbies, and other activities that usually make you feel good?
- Do you have feelings of hopelessness, and are you unable to picture a near or distant future where you are happy?
- Have your sleep cycles changed along with the change in mood? Are you sleeping longer, or are you finding it hard to sleep at all?
- Are your energy levels low?
- Have you alienated yourself from friends and family, or had friends and family tell you that you’ve become distant or disconnected?
Maybe it’s Time to Talk to a Professional
Depression can strike anyone, but not everyone receives treatment. If you ignore the symptoms, you can put yourself at risk of physical harm and psychological breakdown. If you answered yes to one or more of the above questions, it is time to seek help from a medical professional. They will be able to perform a complete diagnosis, assessing whether you are suffering from depression, and will recommend a treatment method that suits you and your unique needs.
Make the decision to take back control over your life, and begin the journey towards a future where you are happy and healthy.