Signs of Depression

Statue of man hugging knees

Uncontrolled Depression

You may have experienced depression five or ten years ago but it doesn’t mean that you’re now in the clear. Depression can always reemerge like a deadly virus that no one expected to turn into a pandemic. That’s because unresolved depression can go unnoticed for years at a time, only to make itself noticeable unexpectedly. You may have been feeling depressed this whole time and not even know it. Sometimes life has a way of keeping you distracted from your own feelings! Signs of depression sometimes go unnoticed.

The last thing you want to do is ignore your depression and bury it somewhere in the closet. This is a recipe for disaster. Depression is not something that you sweep under the rug only to return to it years later. The symptoms of depression are too powerful to ignore and often catch up with you when you least expect them. You will either seek treatment and recover or spiral down into a dark pit full of misery, potentially succumbing to alcohol and drugs.

Signs of depression - depressed man sitting on floor with head in lap

Signs of Depression to Look out For

So what is my recommendation? Don’t be afraid, shy or ashamed to seek help and talk about your feelings. What’s the worst that can happen? You’ll be judged? If someone is judging you because you are depressed, it’s time to cut them out of your life. You only have everything to gain by opening up with a mental health professional and seeking treatment. It’s time that you put your ego aside and seek the care that your mind, body and soul deserve. So what are some signs of depression to look out for?

  • Increased or decreased sleep
  • Decreased interest in activities or goal-directed behavior
  • Guilt
  • Decreased energy
  • Low concentration
  • Increased or decreased appetite
  • Weight gain or weight loss
  • Psychomotor slowing
  • Suicidal ideations

No one knows what causes depression. We have theories about biochemical imbalances in the brain, but as we both know, we’re not machines; we have feelings too. Mental illness is complex because it’s also a subjective field of medicine. We are dealing with the brain and it’s hard to tell how your brain is different than mine. How can we measure that? Everyone experiences different thoughts, perceptions and outlooks on life. Everyone has a different personality. While many depressed people share the same symptoms as listed above, the etiology can be quite different. What makes you depressed may only make me slightly sad. What trips you up and spirals you out of control, may only make me pissed off for an hour before recovering.

Treatments for Depression

Therapy often helps to get to the source of depression, but there also patients who have no idea why they feel depressed. These patients struggle to even identify something wrong in their life. To their shock, they cannot understand why they are depressed when they have a good family, marriage, job and even upbringing. In my professional opinion, these are the patients that demonstrate an example of biological depression. Something is malfunctioning in their brain with no apparent outward source behind their depression. These are the cases in which antidepressants are definitely recommended and they often work within 1-2 months of starting them.

Please open up about your symptoms with a mental health professional. It even helps to open up with someone who you really trust, like a significant other or a really good friend. No matter what you do, please don’t isolate yourself and harbor symptoms all to yourself. You need to speak out.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

You’ll Never Outrun Your Mental Illness

White woman with long dark hair leaning against wall

Addressing Your Mental Illness

A mental illness is an intruder; it invades your headspace and starts to slowly take over. How you feel and what you want no longer matter. It’s as if an outside life-force has entered your mind and is taking over your life; your perception begins to change in the process. At first, you may not even know that you are suffering from a mental illness. Some know but are in denial, refusing to accept their newfound reality.

One thing is clear; you’ll never outrun your mental illness because there’s nothing to run from. It lives inside your mind like the coronavirus infecting your cells and causing multiple blood clots in your lungs. People try all the time to outrun their mental illness, but how far do they really get?

Some may continue to live years without addressing their mental illness, but do you think that they are living in good spirits? Burying your mental illness in the closet is not a tactic that has proven to work; it will only haunt you with every passing day. What you need to do is to address your mental illness.

But addressing your mental illness may prove to be a bigger challenge than you originally thought. This is because you have to be honest with yourself by accepting the fact that you truly have a mental illness. The first step is honesty. If you can do that, then you’re heading in the right direction.

Your mental illness will feel pain when you confront and talk about it; it does not want you to recover. So every time that you resist confronting your mental illness, it grows in power and endurance. This only makes it more difficult for you to address it in the future. The goal is to see humanity addressing their mental illness within the first 24 hours of symptom onset; this will help prevent unnecessary suffering, pain and suicides.

You should not be ashamed of addressing your mental illness by relying on psychiatric medications or psychotherapy. If these treatments will provide you with peace of mind, why in the world would you reject them? Your ego? Forget your ego. Are you willing to risk your sanity because of your ego? Let’s keep it real.

There is nothing better in this world than maintaining your sanity for many years to come. Once you lose grip with reality, your chances of recovering become slimmer. Why put your mind at risk of no return just because you don’t want to take a few pills every day? Just because you take psychiatric medications does not mean that you have to be on them for life. Your outpatient psychiatrist will work with you to manage your medication regimen.

Overall, the sooner that you accept your mental illness and share it with the world, the quicker your recovery will be. Stop hiding behind the curtains where it’s lonely and dark; this is a feeding ground for your mental illness. Remember that your mental illness has one objective; to torture you for good with the end goal of you committing suicide. Don’t become a victim to mental illness.

Address it today.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Embarrassed About Being Depressed

Grayscale photography of depressed man sitting against wall staring at ground

When Depression Eats You Alive

Many people continue to suffer from depression in silence; they have no one to talk to because no one will understand. That is their belief. They also tend to believe that being depressed equates to being weak and that people will look down upon them if they find out that they are feeling depressed. But the truth is that many people around the world are currently depressed; it’s not something to be ashamed of.

The psychology behind being ashamed about depression has to do with the ego or the persona that you present to the world. When you feel depressed, you don’t have your best mask on to present to the world; whatever is lacking on the inside tends to manifest on the out. So for people who care a lot about their image, it becomes overwhelming to share their depression, so they either hide it or kill themselves to escape their reality.

But that’s exactly what makes depression a difficult disorder to deal with; it does its best to kill you within by first isolating you from the rest of the world. It’s very difficult to be depressed and continue living your normal life at the same time; the two pictures are no longer congruent. On the outside, everything keeps moving forward while on the in, everything is slowed down as if you’re turning into a corpse.

When this happens, depressed people start to fall behind and self-isolate. They start to feel hopeless for the future and begin to entertain suicidal ideations; they see the darkness as no way out but by only ending their existence. And it’s much worse for people who are ashamed of their depression; they’re definitely not motivated to even admit that they’re depressed in the first place.

People who are ashamed of their depression will deny feeling depressed or minimize it at the very least, “I guess I feel sad but it’s no big deal! Can I go home now? Can I be discharged?” The dangerous thing about these depressed people is that they sometimes hide their symptoms very well, fooling many around them into believing that they are not going through anything out of the ordinary.

If you are suffering from depression, please don’t be embarrassed to share your experience with others. You are doing yourself a disservice if you continue to hide your symptoms in the shadows. You deserve the help and support that is available from psychiatrists and other mental health workers. Don’t torture yourself behind the curtains; pull them wide open and let the sun into your life!

Please share your stories of depression with The DSM Ready Community!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)