HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU'RE DEPRESSED?
10 signs you might be suffering with Depression
We all have bad days or tough weeks from time to time. Especially if we’ve been faced with some bigger life stressors, like an illness or grief of some form. While it’s normal to feel sad or very down in response to these events, how do you know if you’re depressed?
According to the Black Dog Institute, one in seven Australians will experience Depression in their lifetime. It’s the third highest burden of all diseases in Australia (13%).
While Depression is common, it’s a complex condition involving both psychological and physical symptoms, which often interfere with how you function in everyday life. It’s not a sign of personal weakness.
Depression can happen to anyone, at any age, and to people of any race or ethnic group.
What is Depression?
Clinical Depression is a psychological illness which significantly affects the way someone feels – creating a persistent low mood. As a result, the person may experience a change in enthusiasm for activities they used to enjoy, sleepiness or sleeplessness, or find they have limited concentration.
Depression is a temporary and treatable condition, so it’s important to recognise and seek professional help if you’re concerned.
What causes Depression?
There are various possible causes of Depression.
For some, it may be hereditary and triggered by a stressful situation. For others, it may take shape following a distressing event like the loss of a loved one or losing stable employment. With women, Postnatal Depression may occur following the birth of their baby due to hormonal changes and the emotional rollercoaster involved with the birth and sleep deprivation.
Chemical imbalances in the brain and medications can also be causes of Depression.
10 signs you might be suffering with Depression
If you’re unsure whether you’re depressed or not, read through the 10 signs below and see if any feel familiar.
1. Continual sadness
Are you feeling overwhelmed and cry all the time? Finding it hard to see the good things in life? Your mind is constantly focusing on the negative and everything feels too hard to deal with.
2. Being overly critical and hard on yourself
Is your mind filled with negative and unhelpful thoughts? Are you constantly frustrated with your own thoughts and actions? When feelings of low self-esteem and self-worth combine, self-harm or suicidal thoughts might occur. If you or someone you know is feeling this way, it’s vital to seek professional help ASAP.
3. Losing interest in everything
Are you withdrawing from social events and/or sporting activities you used to love? Do you find you’re just not enjoying things like you once did? Sometimes, difficult life events or situations can impact how we feel about these things.
Speaking to a counsellor can help identify key issues and make sense of your situation in a way you may not have considered before.
4. Feeling irritable and isolated
Are you feeling irritable and lashing out at your loved ones? Do you desperately want quiet time to yourself or wish everyone would just leave you alone?
5. Anxious about everything
Are you constantly worrying about everything in your life? Including your kids, partner, friends, and work? Your mind might be overthinking things that wouldn’t ordinarily worry you, along with fears and/or worries about the past or the future.
You’re struggling to feel at ease and/or can’t stop the anxious thoughts.
6. Experiencing no or low energy
Are you finding it hard to get up in the morning or move from the couch? Depression can leave you feeling flat and unmotivated, making it even harder to get things done, find a sense of purpose, and/or and focus in everyday life.
7. Wrestling with sleep patterns
Are you experiencing sleepless nights or over-sleeping every day? Getting a good night’s sleep is crucial for a healthy well-being, so both of these sleep patterns can affect the way you feel and your ability to cope with everyday demands. It can often leave you feeling more down and out.
8. Fluctuating appetite and weight
Are you binge eating or struggling to swallow a mouthful of anything? Have you noticed some weight gain or have people commented on how thin you look? It’s not unusual for our eating habits to change when we’re going through a difficult time, but if you’ve had issues with your appetite or been struggling with your eating habits for an extended period, it can be helpful to speak to a counsellor as it might be a symptom of Depression.
9. Feeling reckless
Are you taking more uncalculated risks than in the past? Are you being more impulsive in your spending? If you’ve found yourself in a dangerous situation or making financial decisions that could impact you and your family greatly, but can’t stop yourself, you may need to seek professional help.
10. Dependency on drugs or alcohol
Are you finding it hard to get through the day without a six-pack of beer or wine bottle close by? Or have you started taking drugs as a way of coping with the daily demands and pressures? If you’re finding it hard to relax and/or struggling to get through the day without the help of alcohol and/or drugs, then Depression might be a causing factor.
How is Depression treated?
If you can relate to any of the signs above, it’s possible you’re experiencing Depression. The good news is, there are treatments and support options that work. While there are many different styles of therapy that can be helpful, it’s important to find the style of therapy and therapist that best suit you and your individual needs. It’s not the same for everyone.
Seeking support early is most important to your recovery. With the help of counselling and psychotherapy support, it IS possible to find your way back to a clearer mind and happier well-being.
Have you been experiencing low mood or struggling with negative feelings for an extended period? If you’re unsure whether you’re experiencing Depression, please contact me to discuss your specific situation and find out how we can help.
Do you need Counselling Support?
If you need counselling support, contact Kylie Lepri for a FREE 15-minute phone call to discuss your situation and find out how she can help. Call us now on 0404 032636 or book your free phone call online.
Kylie Lepri is a registered Psychotherapist, Marriage and Relationship Counsellor, Clinical Supervisor, and Training Consultant. Since 2003 she has helped individuals and couples work through life stressors, develop new goals and create better relationships. Get Kylie’s FREE ebook: 5 Proven Strategies to help manage stress today, by joining her newsletter below.