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Depression and sadness are emotions that we experience at various points in our lives, for many of us on a daily basis. It’s natural for us to feel ‘the blues’, but there comes a point where those blues can be full-blown clinical depression.
How depression is triggered can stem from a variety of sources: a loss in the family, a serious fight, or we feel disappointed about ourselves or something. The list is endless. Depending on the severity of these things, the depression can last for a few hours, upwards to several weeks or months. There’s are more long-term types of depression that people experience throughout their lives–such as bipolar depression, or SAD. You should consult your physician to determine your depression type, and follow their treatment plan.
There’s are more long-term types of depression that people experience throughout their lives–such as bipolar depression, or SAD. As mentioned before, all of these low moments in our lives are natural. During those periods of sadness, you may experience mild feelings of depression as well. That being said it’s important to recognize the difference between those emotions and when you need professional help. To help you determine the difference, take some time to ask yourself these specific questions. And remember, if you have any concern at all with your mental health be sure to check with a professional regardless.
The first question to ask is “Am I experiencing unexpected or intense sadness that lasts for more than a few days?” Unless there was a major change in your life – like illness, job loss, divorce, etc. – long-lasting sadness is a clear sign you are experiencing depression and may need help.
The second question is “Am I contemplating suicide?” This one goes without saying but those who are depressed are people who believe that the world would be better without them. Some people also see suicide as an escape from responsibility and overall will be happier. In those situations, you need to be seeking help immediately. Go to your ER or call 911 for that.
The third question to ask yourself is “Am I feeling tired or do I lack energy?” While you are at it, you can also ask if you feeling hopeless too. Depression actually has some physical side effects that you may not realize. One of those things is lack of energy or general fatigue. It’s for this reason why many who are depressed often nap for prolong periods of time and frequently too. Conversely, feelings of hopelessness are also a dead give-away of depression as people who are depressed feel that there is no way their life is going to get better. These individuals will likely make no effort at all to change their ways or habits as well.
Speaking of habits, another good set of questions to ask are “Has my eating pattern changed?” or “Am I drinking alcohol or doing drugs to manage my mood?” Often times people who are depressed will indulge in overeating in order to make themselves feel better. On the other hand, some who are depressed will also struggle a lot to lose weight or even develop an appetite. In terms of drugs and alcohol those who are depressed will use those substances in the same way as food. They see food (with or without it) as a way to manage their mood too.
The final question to ask yourself is “Am I losing my temper more often or fighting more?” Depression and sadness come from many sources as mentioned above and one of those is anger. Teens and adults alike can get into fights more often when they are feeling depressed.
In the end, these questions are easy to ask on paper but even for someone who is depressed, they may have a difficult time to ask these questions. It’s for this reason why bystanders, family members, and friends should be asking these questions to those who they think are suffering from depression. With this knowledge, you are better equipped to handle it and can take steps toward helping people overcome their depression.