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In the same way that when most of us say we’re “starving,” we’re simply hungry – many people say they’re depressed when they’re simply feeling down. Generally, it’s a feeling that’s the result of something that has happened in their life, and when enough time passes, the feelings will heal. While feeling sad is a horrible feeling that we wouldn’t wish on anyone, we know that better days and sweeter emotions are around the corner.
However, for those who ARE depressed, better days and sweeter emotions are positively unthinkable. A depressed individual honestly can’t even phantom smiling again, let alone laughing.
So, how do know which category you fall into? Ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I feel sad every day for most of the day?
- Have I lost interest in things that once delighted me?
- Am I sleeping either much more or much less than I once did?
- Am I restless? Do I have trouble sitting still or shutting my mind off?
- Do I feel tired and lethargic most of the time?
- Do I feel worthless? Does it seem to me that I don’t serve a purpose to anyone or anything?
- Do I feel like I’ve been abandoned by everyone?
- Am I having trouble making decisions?
- Am I either eating more than usual or less than usual? Is my weight up or down?
- If someone asked me if I liked myself, would my answer be NO?
Another symptom of depression is so fundamentally important that I didn’t want to list it above. It deserves its own paragraph, because I can’t emphasize it enough. If you EVER have thoughts of suicide or thoughts of hurting yourself in any way – get to a doctor as soon as possible. Whether it’s 4:00 in the morning or 12:00 at night, emergency rooms are always open! People want very much to help you, please let them. Never do anything to yourself or your body that you wouldn’t want done to someone you love.
Look back over the symptoms again. If you answered “Yes” to 2 or 3 questions, you may be experiencing a “mild” form of depression. If you can “pin” these feelings to a particular event, chances are good that what you need is time. Don’t feel guilty for feeling down and don’t make the mistake of allowing these temporary feelings to identify you. You are a vibrant and happy person who is simply feeling down at the moment.
If you answered “Yes” to 5 or more questions – you are a vibrant and happy person who probably needs help finding that person once more. The thing many people don’t realize is that doctors can help with depression. But you have to go! And you have to keep going when they tell you to – if medications are involved, you have to work with your doctor to make sure your dosage is where it needs to be.
Never, ever try to doctor yourself. No good ever comes from that.
If you have been thinking about suicide, or hurting yourself in any way – please see a doctor immediately. Your world doesn’t have to stay dark, there are plenty of wonderful people who can help you find the light again.
If you are on the “mild” end of depression or if you are simply feeling blue, begin (as in RIGHT NOW!) looking for ways to make you feel better. The next post will contain a long list of ideas for you to pull from – from meditating to exercising, you’ll find so much to do you won’t have time to feel anything but busy!
Make each moment count double,