Are You Suffering From Depression? There is Help Available
Do you ever feel like the world is dark and far away? Do you question everything in your life and ask if it is worth going on? Do you feel like there is a heavy weight of sadness on your heart that just won't go away?
When I am going through a depressive episode, these are some of the feelings that I cope with. Many other people cope with depression every day as well, and it can be a crippling form of mental illness that effects every aspect of your daily life. Depression can make it difficult to do even the smallest daily tasks, and often it is necessary to reach out and ask for help with depression.
According to the World Health Organization, some key facts about depression are:
Depression is a common mental disorder.
Globally, an estimated 5% of adults suffer from depression.
More women are affected by depression than men.
Depression can lead to suicide.
There is effective treatment for mild, moderate and severe depression.
Since depression is a common mental health disorder, it is likely that you or someone you know may experience depression at some time during their lifetime. Also, depression can effect children as well as adults.
According to Yale Medicine,
An estimated 3.2 percent of American children and adolescents have diagnosed depression. And while depression was long seen as an adult problem, researchers now know that even a 2-year-old can experience depression.
If your child or teen seems to be experiencing depression symptoms, it is important to talk to them about how they are feeling. If they seem to be experiencing depression, it is important to contact a mental health professional right away.
Symptoms of Depression
Most of us will feel sad from time to time, or down in the dumps. However, depression is more than just feeling sad. It is a pervasive mood that takes control of someone's life, and makes it difficult to function in day to day life.
According to The Mayo Clinic, symptoms of Depression may include:
Feelings of sadness, tearfulness, emptiness or hopelessness
Angry outbursts, irritability or frustration, even over small matters
Loss of interest or pleasure in most or all normal activities, such as sex, hobbies or sports
Sleep disturbances, including insomnia or sleeping too much
Tiredness and lack of energy, so even small tasks take extra effort
Reduced appetite and weight loss or increased cravings for food and weight gain
Anxiety, agitation or restlessness
Slowed thinking, speaking or body movements
Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fixating on past failures or self-blame
Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions and remembering things
Frequent or recurrent thoughts of death, suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts or suicide
Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches
When these symptoms persist longer than two weeks, one is considered to be experiencing a depressive episode. Symptoms may impact daily functioning in work, school or relationships for the person suffering with depression. When you are really depressed, it can feel like a struggle to make yourself do anything, like you are weighted down by your negative thoughts and feelings.
Help for Depression
When you have severe depression for longer than two weeks, it is important to seek professional support from a mental health professional. It may feel like a daunting task to look for a therapist, psychiatrist or life coach, but it is well worth the effort for the coping skills you will learn, and the support of having someone in your corner.
Trying to "power through" depression on your own can be difficult, and can often lead to burnout and exhaustion. At least this has been the case for me in the past. Currently, I see a therapist as well as taking medications. I have also worked with a life coach in the past and found that helpful as well.
The following article provides detailed tips on How to Find a Therapist. As someone who has struggled with depression on and off since I was a teen, I find that having a mental health professional to consult with regularly has been a crucial part of getting my mental health symptoms under control.
In addition to working with a mental health professional, there are many coping skills for depression that you can learn to use at home on your own. Learning coping skills that you can use every day can go a long way towards being able to manage your mental health during times when you are between therapy sessions.
For additional information about coping with depression, you can check out these other articles:
21% of mothers suffer from post-partum depression
Finding mental clarity when you have depression
The depression symptom no one talks about
If you are suffering from depression yourself, or know someone who is, please know that there is help and hope available.
If you are someone you know is considering suicide, you can reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by dialing 988.