Depression can be caused by an identifiable stressor such as a breakup, a death, or any number of unexpected life changes that we perceive as difficult, painful or unwanted. Other times, we can become depressed for seemingly no reason at all. It feels especially confusing when there is no identifiable stressor that we can point to and say “I am feeling depressed because….” At other times, people can experience feelings of mild depression for years, that they become so used to, it feels like a part of their personality. Whatever the case, know that you are not alone and that help is available.
Normally, we can handle life’s ups and downs with relative ease, but when we are depressed everyday tasks can become so daunting that the best we may be able to manage may be to eat, sleep and brush our teeth. Sometimes not even that! Depression can interfere with our ability to function on many different levels and this itself causes even more stress. The fact that you are here, seeking guidance, is an important first step towards feeling better.
If you have been experiencing any or some of the following symptoms for two or more weeks, please consider reaching out:
- Depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day
- Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities most of the day nearly every day
- Significant weight loss or gain without dieting or noticeable changes in appetite
- A slowing down of thought and a reduction of physical movement (observable by others, not merely subjective feelings of restlessness or being slowed down)
- Fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day
- Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt nearly every day
- Diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness, nearly every day
- Recurrent thoughts of death, recurrent suicidal ideation without a specific plan, or a suicide attempt or a specific plan for committing suicide
If you are currently in crisis and are having thoughts of suicide you can receive immediate help from the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by calling 1-800-273-8255. Help is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can also visit their website at https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/.
Depression is treatable. Please reach out today!