Are You Depressed or Just Down?


If you’re reading this article, the possibility that you aren’t feeling quite like yourself is pretty high. At the very least, you know of someone who is feeling down.

Whether this person is you or someone you care about, know that concern is on the other side of these words and help is all around.

Everyone, for any number of reasons, feels down at times. The cause can be as major as grief for a lost one, the presence of an illness or the shattering of a personal dream. It can be as “minor” as a disagreement, a speeding ticket or stubborn extra pounds. Usually events such as these require time to “heal”, then if the healing was complete, you begin feeling more like yourself.

However, if the feelings are more than just “the blues” time will make you feel worse rather than better. Clinical Depression is more than a passing phase and does not just disappear on its own. It affects more than 19 million Americans each year, and the numbers are steadily climbing. Given the fact that this illness is very debilitating and gravely affects every aspect of the sufferer’s life, it is amazing that less than half of these people even seek help!

A contributing factor to this is believed to be a failure to recognize the symptoms. People generally think, “This will pass. I’m just down…” Infuriatingly enough, many females suffer from the erroneous claim that their feelings are due to the H word, “hormones”. The cynic in me believes that one day, every ill in the world will be attributed to hormones!

Rant aside, let’s look closely at the symptoms of depression. First of all, promise me you’ll make a point of never misusing this word ever again. How many of us attach the “depresion” name tag to everything from a bad mood to the side effects of a rainy-day. People suffer from and deal with this illness on a daily basis. Overusing the name lessens it’s importance and misusing it makes the lines between “blues” and “depression” hazier.

–Signs of Depression

An everpresent feeling of sadness and emptiness. You feel often as though there are tears behind your eyes, just waiting to well up.

Changes in your sleep pattern(s). Some people sleep more than usual, literally having to force themselves to get out of bed. Others are restless and find sleep to be maddeningly elusive.

Your appetite will also be affected in varying ways. Some people eat more, some less. Many times the first symptom is either weight gain or weight loss.

Irritability and edginess. Even though you, yourself, may not be able to answer why. All you know, and all others know, is you are most definitely out of sorts and no one wants to cross your path! It takes a rare individual to look below the surface and feel for the person rather than to simply react and respond in like manner. Unfortunately, most just snap back, causing disagreements, hurt feelings and worsening things more than ever.

Many times digestive problems result. You’ll find yourself with frequent stomach complaints.

Your stomach will not be the only source of discomfort. Your head will ache frequently, and you may experience various aches and pains.

Loss of energy or interest. Things you once enjoyed, such as walking, television, socializing and even sex, will become little more than a bother to you.

Thoughts of suicide. (Even if you don’t feel you have any of the other symptoms on this page, if you have ever thought of ending your life, PLEASE call the doctor’s office right now. That’s what they’re there for and would recognize how brave you are for coming in. They’ll make you better).

A feeling of worthlessness and hopelessness.

If you have experienced 3 or more of the above symptoms for two or more weeks, call a professional right away. The professional could be a mental health specialist or your family doctor. Remember, they went into their profession to help people, just like you. They know the darkness you’re living in and can help you find the light again. Please don’t waste another day. Life’s too beautiful and too full of promise.

If you feel like you really don’t exhibit the described symptoms, give yourself a few days. Talk to a few people you trust, find a good book (Agatha Christie and Dean Koontz are great distractions!), watch a comedy, spend time with your pet, go to the zoo….live!

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Author: Piyawut Sutthiruk

Losing weight will keep you healthy and have a long life. Cheer Up!

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