Do you ever have those days where you feel like there is a dark cloud hanging over your head? No matter what is going on around you, you just can’t seem to see or feel anything positive?
Rest assured that everyone experiences these feelings at different times in their life. There are an endless number of reasons for feeling this way. Maybe you are getting sick or run down. It could be because of a stretch of gloomy weather. It could be that you aren’t getting enough sleep, or eating too much junk food. Perhaps something happened that made you sad, angry or embarrassed and you can’t quit thinking about it.
Common Symptoms of Depression:
- Feelings of sadness, tearfulness, emptiness or hopelessness
- Angry outbursts, irritability or frustration, even over small matters
- Loss of interest or pleasure in most or all normal activities, such hobbies or sports
- Sleep disturbances, including insomnia or sleeping too much
- Tiredness and lack of energy, so even small tasks take extra effort
- Reduced appetite and weight loss, or increased cravings for food and weight gain
- Anxiety, agitation or restlessness
- Slowed thinking, speaking or body movements
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fixating on past failures or self-blame
- Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions and remembering things
- Frequent or recurrent thoughts of death, suicidal thoughts or attempts
- Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches
So maybe you aren’t sure how serious your depression is, you just know that you aren’t feeling the way you should. What should you do?
It’s easy to keep your feelings buried deep inside and just hope they go away. But it’s important for you to talk to an adult you trust. Explain what’s going on, and ask if they’ve noticed some of the same symptoms in you lately. Often just talking about your feelings and sorting out how to handle your stress helps a lot.
Sometimes talking isn’t enough. If that’s the case, a visit with your family doctor can initiate an in-depth talk about what is going on. They will review your symptoms and evaluate the impact these feelings are having on your day-to-day activities. A clinical diagnosis of depression could be determined by a doctor or psychiatrist if you have experienced these symptoms consistently for an extended period of time.
No matter if it is depressed feelings or clinical depression, there is hope and healing. Open up about how you’re feeling so you can get the help you need to feel better again.