If you’ve been following me on Facebook, you know that I’ve recently been overwhelmed by major depression. In fact, you may be one of those who kindly, or not-so-kindly, pointed it out.
A month or so ago, I argued that I knew the difference between situational depression and clinical depression, and that I was fine—just fine! I may even have stamped my foot for emphasis, as my niece did when she was five.
But at some point, and I can’t honestly say exactly when, my “blue mood” took a definite downturn, and I became even more restless, irritable, and discontent than usual.
Clinical depression has specific hallmarks. I knew it included deep sadness, loss of interest in things that used to give joy, trouble sleeping, and overeating. But when I looked it up, primarily to negate what my friends had been telling me, I was horrified to find I exhibited all but one of the classic symptoms.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health symptoms of depression may include the following:
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
- Fatigue and decreased energy
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and/or helplessness
- Feelings of hopelessness and/or pessimism
- Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping
- Irritability, restlessness
- Loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable, including sex
- Overeating or appetite loss
- Persistent aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment
- Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” feelings
- Thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts
Thankfully, the last symptom was the one I did not have.
So what will I do, and/or what have I already done, about to remedy this situation? My answer will be in my next blog post.