Depression is a serious medical condition, but it often goes undetected until the patient is moved to do something drastic under its influence, like self-cutting or a suicide attempt. Here are some signs to look for which indicate a person – maybe you – suffer from depression and need professional help:
1. You No Longer Derive Joy from Your Interests
We all have hobbies that provide us with joy and an interest in life. Whether it’s a sport, an art form or pop culture consumption, there is always something you do to kick back after working hard at your job all day.
These hobbies and interests are what make life worth living. If you begin to feel you’re no longer interested in them and constantly experience listlessness and an absence of joy, it may be time to seek help.
2. Instead of Therapy, You Self-Medicate
Some people try to deal with feelings of pain and sadness with drugs and alcohol. If you find yourself consuming large quantities of medicine without getting a prescription from a doctor, remind yourself that you are only succeeding in temporarily blocking the pain out in a drug-induced stupor instead of getting cured.
If you want to genuinely get better, you need to go to a licensed professional who will tell you which drugs, if any, you should be taking to deal with your problems.
3. Depression Starts Affecting Work
One of the most common symptoms of depression is when you no longer feel strong enough to face the world. This can result in your shutting out the difficult parts of your life by not leaving your house, even to go to work.
This behavior has a very negative effect, both in the short term in terms of feeding your paranoia, and in the long term in terms of affecting your financial independence and professional reputation.
4. You Spend Too Much Time Fantasizing
When real life carries no joy, often we try to take refuge in an imaginary world of our own making. We might try to lose ourselves in video games, movies or online chat forums, but all we’re doing is temporarily avoiding our rapidly mounting real-life problems
If you find yourself spending too much time lost in daydreams as a way to push away reality, it’s a strong sign that you will need outside help from a professional to deal with your depression.
5. Other People Notice Your State
You may try to convince yourself that you are merely going through a bad patch and that your problems are nothing serious, but what about when your issues start affecting those close to you, and they begin to comment on it?
This is a clear sign that your problems are much more serious than you had imagined, and need to be addressed with the help of a professional. Don’t be ashamed to take your relatives into your confidence. You will need their support to get better.
6. You Consider Self-Harm instead of Seeking Help
There is never, and I mean NEVER, a good reason to try to hurt yourself. The impulse to injure your body or take your own life is a result of long-term depression and a general feeling of helplessness. You feel you don’t control your own life and can never experience happiness again, but this is not true.
Talk to a professional, take help from relatives, and get the medical assistance you need to get back to your normal life. Life is never perfect for anyone, but amidst all the difficulties, there are still many new experiences to be enjoyed that make life worth living.
If depression is affecting you, or your loved one, you can contact us at Counseling Services of Portland and get matched with a therapist to meet your specific needs.
Guest Author Bio:
Suzie Wolfer is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Somatic Experiencing Professional. She has over 25,000 hours in face to face work with clients, and also worked in the business world in international trade as well as a University research director and as a professional artist and teacher. You can read more about Suzie and Counseling Services of Portland by visiting their website.
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