Sometimes people use the word depressed to just signify that they are sad. Everyone goes through times of sadness and those are completely normal. Every event in life takes time for you to process and get over. For instance, If you lose a pet it is only natural for you to be extremely sad for a while, but if you are still in the same stage of mourning and sadness years later that is not healthy and could most likely be diagnosed as depression at that time. Where is the line though? How do you know if you are just sad or truly depressed?
What is Depression?
Depression is a mental illness and it affects more people than you would ever expect. It is widely agreed now that most cases of depression are caused by a lack of chemical balance in the brain. A person who is depressed will withdraw themselves and lose interest in things that use to please them. They will most often feel immensely sad for days at a time and may not be able to pinpoint why. This can also present itself as aggression, especially in adolescents. If someone is depressed it will start to seriously affect their daily lives.
When to See a Professional
If you are showing signs of clinical depression for over 2 weeks it is time to seek medical help. You are not weak at asking for help. It takes strength to ask for help and accept it. Everyone will be proud of you for being open and letting someone know what you needed. There are several ways to talk to a professional in today’s world. It can be as easy as picking up your smartphone. Several companies offer private online counseling.
Symptoms of Depression
There are certain symptoms you will notice in yourself before they may be noticeable to others. One of the first signs of depression is a loss of interest. Things that you use to look forward to now seem like burdens to handle. This is a sign that you need to watch and see if you have other symptoms. It is normal to not always be excited but if you go from always hanging out with friends to avoiding everyone this is a sure sign you need to talk to someone.
Loss of appetite is another symptom of being depressed. You just have no desire to eat. A feeling of dread that just can not be shaken away is a feeling many people describe. Many people also always feel exhausted and no matter how much they sleep they still feel like they are running on an empty tank. Insomnia also plagues many people who are suffering from depression. Suicidal thought also often accompanies depression.
If you are having thoughts of suicide, you should call a professional immediately. You are loved and you are needed! The pain is real and everyone understands that but you have to let someone know how much pain you are in for them to help. Always ask for help if you need it. You can find many 24 hour hotlines that can help you in an emergency.
If you think you may be suffering from depression, take the steps to talk to a professional today! Mental health is the same as any other part of your body it can get sick. There is no shame in going to the doctor when you are sick. We never look down on someone for having a cold. There is no reason to feel any different when seeking help for a mental illness. The sooner you ask for help the sooner you are on the right medicine and the road to wellness.