Everyone feels sad sometimes but these feeling usually pass with a little of time. If you feel sad, empty, hopeless most of the day, which includes trouble sleeping, eating and functioning for more than 2 weeks then you may have depression, a serious but treatable mood disorder.

Depression also known as “clinical depression” or a “depressive disorder” is a mood disorder that causes distressing symptoms that affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities in your life. You would be diagnosed with depression if the symptoms are present for most of the day, nearly every day for at least 2 weeks and more.

Do you have the following symptoms?

Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. A bleak outlook—nothing will ever get better and there’s nothing you can do to improve your situation.

Loss of interest in daily activities. You don’t care anymore about former hobbies, pastimes, social activities, or sex. You’ve lost your ability to feel joy and pleasure.

Appetite or weight changes. Significant weight loss or weight gain—a change of more than 5% of body weight in a month.

Sleep changes. Either insomnia, especially waking in the early hours of the morning, or oversleeping.

Anger or irritability. Feeling agitated, restless, or even violent. Your tolerance level is low, your temper short, and everything and everyone gets on your nerves.

Loss of energy. Feeling fatigued, sluggish, and physically drained. Your whole body may feel heavy, and even small tasks are exhausting or take longer to complete.

Self-loathing. Strong feelings of worthlessness or guilt. You harshly criticize yourself for perceived faults and mistakes.

Reckless behavior. You engage in escapist behavior such as substance abuse, compulsive gambling, reckless driving, or dangerous sports.

Concentration problems. Trouble focusing, making decisions, or remembering things.

Unexplained aches and pains. An increase in physical complaints such as headaches, back pain, aching muscles, and stomach pain.

How can I help myself if I am depressed?

Treatment would be the best option, you may start to feel better gradually through medication and Psychotherapy. Remember that if you are taking an antidepressant, it may take 2 to 4 weeks to start working. Try to do things that you used to enjoy. Go easy on yourself. Other things that may help include:

Trying to be active and exercise

Breaking up large tasks into small ones, set priorities, and do what you can as you can

Spending time with other people and confide in a trusted friend or relative

Postponing important life decisions until you feel better. Discuss decisions with others who know you well

Avoiding self-medication with alcohol or with drugs not prescribed for you

You are not alone

Major depressive disorder is one of the most common mental disorders. You are not alone. You should never feel like you are carrying this on your own.

Sometimes living with depression can seem overwhelming, so build a support system for yourself. Your family and friends are a great place to start. Talk to trusted family members or friends to help them understand how you are feeling and that you are following your doctor’s recommendations to treat your depression.

In addition to your treatment, you could also join a support group. These are not psychotherapy groups, but some may find the added support helpful. At the meetings, people share experiences, feelings, information, and coping strategies for living with depression.

Categories: Mental Health

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