Depression is tricky. The credit goes to the denial of most patients regarding the disease. Yes, it is a disease and like all others, it can be cured with professional help. You might be feeling on the edge now but remember that it can vanish with treatment.
Depression is a combination of good and bad days. Maybe that’s why people choose to ignore it. You feel perfectly fine on some days, wanting to do your work, going out with friends or dance to some good music. Then comes the other side — when you’re cocooned in sadness, feeling like doing nothing. Then you shrug it off again when the bright side reappears.
Things take a turn for the worse when the sad side gains power and it feels like it has taken over your whole being. Things that you loved, don’t seem too good anymore, life seems tragic and you want to do nothing. Days pass and it soon becomes weeks and months. That’s when you begin to wonder, ‘is it always going to be like this?’
The good news is, it can be cured with proper medication and therapy. It’s just like any other diagnosis. Take back pain diagnosis and treatment, for example. It’s painful at first, but then the doctor identifies the cause and gives you medicine. You stick to the treatment and the pain goes away. Depression is very much the same. You must begin by identifying the symptoms.
Are you depressed or sad?
People are often confused between the two. You can get sad due to various reasons and problems in your life like failing in an exam, loss of a pet, or ongoing treatment. But prolonged sadness can turn into depression. For instance, being hospitalized for too long. When you’re in that environment for a long time, you’re bound to feel sad. But sadness ends with the painful treatment. You go back to your family and feel like yourself again.
Depression is not like this. Once it gets hold of a person, it sticks around. Even though the person is healthy, he will not feel happy and go through multiple symptoms that can’t be overlooked. These include:
- Losing interest in everything: You don’t feel like doing anything. Your hobbies don’t excite you anymore and you feel too tired to try anything new. Anhedonia — which means difficulty is feeling joy — is the most widely suffered symptom of depression. Your energy levels drop significantly and you find yourself incapable of doing tasks that you did effortlessly in the past.
- Wanting to spend time alone: This is the classic idea of a depressed person and it is true. When you’re in a depression, you avoid company at all costs. This may trouble your loved ones as they see you drifting far away. You feel numb at some times and even worthless at others. This leads to a tilt towards being alone as facing people can be more discouraging.
- Changing sleep and appetite: You may begin to overeat or don’t eat at all. As far as sleep is concerned, you’re likely to have a hard time sleeping at night. Then, you’ll have to compensate for that during the day. It can occur that you sleep through the whole day and even night. Depression can cause insomnia in some patients.
- Experiencing mood swings: As mentioned earlier, depression may or may not have a reason. The sadness you experience can rise anytime. Mood swings can cause you to feel happy at 11 AM and sad and agitated at 12:00 PM. It’s frustrating. That’s why you need professional help otherwise these feelings can intensify.
If you’re experiencing these, it’s time to see help
These symptoms point directly towards depression and you need to call a professional.
- Feeling hopeless and numb most of the time
- Suffering from shame and guilt when you’ve done nothing
- Losing concentration and memory
- Negative thoughts have taken over your mind
- Considering yourself a burden on your loved ones
- Crying over little things or nothing at all
- Considering harming yourself to ease or showcase the pain
- You’re thinking about suicide more than often
If you’re experiencing these symptoms, there’s no reason to delay an appointment with a mental health professional. They understand your condition and can cure it with guidance and medication.
Remember, you’re not alone in this. The challenge here is to gather energy and try to talk to someone in your support system. A treatment plan that constitutes both medication and therapy works wonders for patients with depression. You’ll be out and about, feeling like your best self, just like you do after a diagnosis of any other disease. You’ll come out of this better than ever.