When you can't "just get over it": Understanding depression
She's hurt, mentally and emotionally, but everyday she walks with a smile - anonymous
When I first moved out on my own, my daughter was only 8 months old. Before that, we were living with her father's family at his parents house. Even if he wasn't there, I always had someone that I could ask for help from. Living on my own for the first time was different because now I had nobody I could get help from. I was feeling hopeless, tearful, anxious, and having a hard time with adjusting to this change in my life. For the first time in forever this change forced me to analyze my life.
We all have moments where something makes us feel sad or a little down. Some of us are working moms trying to find a balance, some of us are stay at home moms trying to catch a break, or even going through relationship problems. Life has its ups and downs. Feeling sadness is a normal human response. Many people are able to move on and resume their lives but for others it's not that easy. If your feelings of sadness are interfering with your life at an almost daily basis then it may be something more serious than adjustment and you might want to consider connecting to a therapist.
Depression can range from mild to severe and there is a difference between situational depression vs clinical depression. Its also important to remember that everyone reacts differently to stress. Something that may be situational to one person can turn into something more serious for others. That doesn't mean that anything is wrong with you.
I was able to develop a routine for myself and just moved on eventually.
Situational depression is something that is short term and can be a result of a change or trauma. Examples are moving to a new home, losing your job, getting into an accident, or even losing a pet. The symptoms to this start within 90 days of the event. These are things that definitely cause sadness and can be hard to accept but the sadness can be resolved once a person comes to terms with it. This can happen by talking to family or just letting time go by, seeking help, and accepting the loss for example. People experiencing situational depression are able to move on with their lives in a short amount of time. In my instance, I was able to develop a routine for myself and just moved on eventually. Me moving wasn't something that continued to bother me past 90 days.
Clinical depression is more severe than situational depression and can last months even years. This type of depression becomes so severe that it may impact your day to day life. It can start affecting you in your work, relationships with others, self- care, etc. This isn't something that people overcome easily or "get over". According to the National Institute of Mental Health, "Depression is more common among women than men, likely due to certain biological, hormonal, and social factors that are unique to women." So it is important to understand a little bit more of the signs and symptoms not only for ourselves but also for our loved ones.
These are some of the symptoms to watch out for.
How do I know if im depressed
Depression can cause physical, psychological, and social symptoms.
There is no one size fits all to any of this. Everybody responds to situations differently so with that said, you dont have to have all of these symptoms. Most people will experience only some and the severity of the symptoms will be different for everybody. This is also not a complete list.
Physical: low energy, hard time falling asleep or staying asleep, change in appetite (over eating, under eating), changes in weight, lack of sex drive, body aches, digestion issues,
Social: isolation, avoiding contact with friends or family, not doing your hobbies as usual,
Psychological: low mood, sadness, low self-esteem, feelings of guilt, irritable, no motivation, no enjoyment, tearful, difficulty making decisions, hard time concentrating, suicidal thoughts, or thoughts of harming self.
Things we can do
First off, remember there is always professional help out there. Therapist are professionals that are trained in mental health. They are there to listen to you without judgement and problem solve with you. There is no shame in talking to a therapist. Just like we talk to a doctor for our physical health, taking care of our mental health is just as important. I myself have had a therapist before when I was going through my divorce.
On our own, some changes we can incorporate into our lifestyle is talking to friends or family, exercising, keeping a balanced diet, journaling, joining a support group, participating in a hobby, listen to music, inspiring videos or vlogs, taking mental health days, go for a walk, fresh air, take a nap.
I know it may be hard to even think of doing these things when you're feeling depressed or not feeling motivated. But if we wait to feel motivated will we ever do any of these things? I used to discuss this with my clients. Behavioral activation. Sometimes we have to activate our positive emotions with positive behaviors. This means scheduling some of these activities to improve our emotions. This could be done by literally putting a reminder on your phone for a walk, or a phone call to a friend, etc. Notice how you feel after this.
Life will always have its ups and downs but we can change the way we respond to these. Slowly but surely we can be in charge of our mental health. We can find some sunshine in the dark days.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a national network of local crisis centers that provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in the United States.
1 (800) 273- 8255