Some people might not realise they feel depressed, or someone close to them may be. If you do think so, try to find some help, advice and support for both you and them.
Ask for professional help when your depression is moderate. Even mention it when it’s mild or explain why you feel the way you do – keeping up with tasks and assignments, snappy because you’re distracted by thoughts of escape, too hard to relate to others and their lives/problems.
Some symptoms or signs that can prompt you to look for the right help for you.
- You feel really sad most of the time, for several weeks, your mood is affecting your work and relationships – uninterested, hard to concentrate.
- You have thoughts of suicide at times. You might have thoughts of options to stop the horrid feelings, about leaving the hardship behind, changing dramatically to avoid the pain, fear, helplessness depression can bring on. You might feel hopeless or helpless “Why is everything so hard for me? How come I’m not feeling better?”
- Worrying that you’ll not ‘feel good’ ever again which is scary as well as horrible to consider; there may be no help for you or options in future or now! That’s hard to accept.
- You feel guilty, worthless or ashamed Children and adults blame themselves for not being able to snap out of depressed episodes – “I’m so stupid”, “I can’t do anything right”
- You are snappy with people (but might not recognise this yourself!) also anger or impatience (this is not stress but some negative thinking – helpless, hopeless and sadness
- You want to be alone – stay in bed, or your room, ignore calls and visitors, or even take time off work.
- Concentration and processing is hard work or even impossible – thinking is slow, missed appointments, forgotten tasks, distractions from nothing much
- You’re tired – less energy e.g. can’t get up or out of bed, want to just sit or sleep, not thinking or doing but maybe staring in to space!
- You have headaches or body aches especially back and neck ache, or even toothache from stress and tension
- Your sleeping patterns change problems getting to sleep or staying asleep waking really early and unable to get back to sleep so you feel tired in the day
- Your appetite has changed Perhaps eating less or more (managing and choosing your eating habits can be a relief and something you need to feel you can control can but become another problem in itself if left) or, like me at my mum’s funeral – eat much more than usual (to fill an empty space?)