Are you feeling depressed all the time?
Are you really sad, not yourself and not enjoying your life?
Your friends are telling you that it will pass. To snap out of it. But you are wondering if you can. You are wondering if maybe it’s time to ask for help.
I know when I was struggling with undiagnosed depression there were indicators that it was time to get help. I didn’t see them at the time but there are indicators that I have learned, as a life coach and as a formerly depressed person, to spot.
#1 – Can you get out of bed or off the couch?
If you are feeling depressed all the time and find it really difficult to rouse yourself, then it might be time to get help.
How much time do you spend on the couch or in bed? You aren’t necessarily tired but the prospect of getting up is just too daunting to face. So, perhaps you stay horizontal all day, watching Netflix and feeling like a loser.
This habit is a significant indicator of depression. People who have been diagnosed with depression tell of the great lengths they go to stay out of bed. Of stripping the sheets, taking the mattress off of the box spring and leaning it against the wall, locking the bedroom door. Whatever it takes to keep them out of bed and wallowing in their depression.
If you are finding yourself horizontal more often than not, it’s definitely time to get help!
#2 –Do you no longer love the things you love?
Have you lost interest in doing the things that you have always loved?
Does the idea of going to school or seeing friends or going out to dinner just seem like too much to bear?
People who are depressed isolate themselves. The energy that it takes to get out of bed and interact with others is overwhelming. So, they don’t.
Ironically, going out and doing the things that you love is a great way to alleviate depression temporarily. Unfortunately, the treatment can often seem too daunting to undertake and so people who are depressed just stay home.
If you find yourself isolating and dreading doing the things that used to make you happy then it just might be time to get help1
#3 – Do you have overwhelming feelings of hopelessness and dread?
Do you spend much of your time running all sorts of negative thoughts through your head about how horrible your life is? What a loser you are and how no one will ever love you? Are you 100% confident that this will never change?
Does the idea of going for a run or talking to your mother or spending time with your partner just feel impossible because you feel so worthless?
People who are depressed believe that all of those negative thoughts that run through their head. Unfortunately, they also believe, falsely, that it will always be this way!
What many depressed people don’t realize is that, when one is depressed, future things can only seem hopeless. Why? Because, when one’s mind is in such a dark place, it’s impossible to believe that the future will be any different than it is now.
The good news is that once the depression is addressed that feeling of hopelessness can disappear completely!
So, if you are feeling depressed all the time and full of hopelessness and dread, get some help!
#4 – Are you are impatient with those you love?
Do you find yourself losing your patience with those you love? Do you scream at your kids if their homework doesn’t get done? Do you sneer at your husband if he asks you what is wrong? Can you not even talk to your mom anymore because her incessant questioning is just too much?
Impatience with those you love is a huge indicator of depression. The sense of the hopelessness that our condition will never change and that we are worthless makes it intolerable for us to interact with others, particularly those who love us and want the best for us.
Ironically, it is that love exactly that we need most in our life when we suffer from depression. Pushing that love away ultimately can make the depression worse.
So, reach out to your doctor if your impatience and irritability are getting the best of you and effecting your life!
#5 – Have your sleep habits and/or appetites changed?
Have you found that recently your appetite has changed? Do you find yourself indulging more than usual in Ben and Jerry’s and Oreos? Or do you find that you have no taste for food at all? Have you lost weight and find yourself listless because you aren’t eating?
Do you find that you can’t sleep at all, that your nights are long and filled with thoughts of hopelessness and dread?
Or do you find yourself sleeping too much? Is the only relief that you get from your depression through sleep?
Changes in eating and sleeping patterns can indicate depression. When depression goes untreated we often self-medicate with food, often to one extreme or another. Which is not healthy and can make the depression worse.
Or course, eating and sleeping well is an important part of dealing with depression. And failing to do so only makes the feelings of hopelessness and despair worse.
If you are feeling depressed all the time then it’s time to get treated.
Untreated depression only gets worse.
Unfortunately, we hate to admit to being depressed because our loved ones, and society as a whole, tend to stigmatize those with depression.
So, ask yourself if you have any of the symptoms above. Are you listless and full of hopelessness? Is the joy in your life gone? Are you impatient and irritable and have your sleep patterns changed?
If you any of these are true, seek professional help immediately. Call your primary care provider and tell her exactly how you have been feeling, using this article as a reference if you like.
Treating depression is easy. Living with it is not.