Depression and sadness are not the same thing. Sadness is a normal human emotion. We all experience it. Depression is defined as “a condition of general emotional dejection and withdrawal; sadness greater and more prolonged than that warranted by any objective reason.” Depression is sadness that doesn’t go away.
There are many signs and symptoms of depression. Some of the most common symptoms include:
- Insomnia or sleeping more than usual. Some people feel extreme tiredness and sleep more while others may have trouble sleeping.
- Little interest in pleasurable activities. If you used to love spending time with friends, going to the movies, or the gym and you don’t currently, that is an indicator of depression.
- Difficulty concentrating. Challenges reading, watching TV, or working can occur.
- Increase in alcohol or drug use. Drinking or doing drugs more frequently or in larger quantities can be a red flag.
- Feeling hopeless. Not being able to see a bright future or a way out.
- Increase in anger, irritability, or aggression. If your fuse it shorter than usual, this can also be a symptom.
- Persistent negative thoughts. If the negative thinking is overwhelming and you can’t stop it, this is a depression indicator.
- Thoughts that life is not worth living. If you are thinking about harming yourself, please seek help immediately.
- Poor appetite or overeating. Look for changes to eating patterns, either eating more or less.
- Thoughts people would be better off without you. This is a serious symptom and again you should seek immediate help.
Clinical depression is often diagnosed when you have the above symptoms for two or more weeks. You may find some solace in things like exercise, meditation, and therapy. Going on a walk and getting some fresh air may bring relief. If the symptoms have begun to prohibit daily functioning like bathing yourself or going to work you likely are dealing with a clinical depression.
Clinical depression needs treatment. Some individuals recover from therapy alone and others need medication, also. If you or someone you love are struggling with depression you are not alone. If you are thinking of harming yourself, please call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255. There are also many treatment centers who specialize in treating depression. Most importantly, remember this is temporary. Depression is a medical issue that simply needs treatment. There is hope. There is a solution.
There is freedom in recovery. Design For Change is changing lives one step at a time through a multifaceted treatment program and recovery services. Our 12 step based treatment programs offer a refuge from recovery bringing together families in the hope of sobriety. Call us today for information: (877) 267-3646