Depression is more than just sadness; it’s a serious illness that can last for months and years. In fact, depression is the most common and widespread of all the psychiatric disorders, and is the leading cause of disability worldwide.
We all have fluctuations in our mood, but when these telltale signs are hanging on for more than two weeks, and are more than the typical ups and downs we face in life, it’s time to be aware of the signs and put them behind you … because living in a depressed state is not living at all!
Each person may experience depression differently, but here are 10 telltale signs:
1. Anger and irritability
You have a low frustration tolerance for most things, are easily annoyed or mad, and are grumpy and unpleasant to be around.
2. Hopelessness and worthlessness
You can’t see the positive side of things and feel as if you have no options.
3. Loss of zest for life
You have lost your interest in things you previously enjoyed and have difficulty finding and feeling the pleasure in things.
Your stream of negative thoughts can’t be controlled and you may be crying for no good reason.
5. Fatigue and loss of energy
You have chronic feelings of being tired and are not motivated to begin tasks.
You frequently criticize yourself for the mistakes you have made in your life.
7. Concentration problems
A slowed thought process takes over and it’s more difficult to make decisions and to concentrate.
8. Changes in appetite and/or sleep
Your eating and sleep habits have changed. Your uncharacteristic habits include eating and sleeping too much or too little.
9. Reckless behavior
You escape with alcohol, drugs, gambling, and other dangerous activities.
10. Suicidal thoughts
It’s one thing to have a fleeting thought like, “OMG I want to die,” but thoughts of harming yourself on a daily basis, with the intent to act, is a serious symptom of depression that requires immediate professional help.
Here are some coping tips to boost your mood and put depression behind you:
- Start small and don’t overload yourself all at once.
- Stay connected with others and ask for help … you give someone the pleasure of doing a good deed.
- Challenge your negative thoughts and feed your mind with positivity.
- Eat healthy and your mind will follow along.
- Increase your productive behaviors and incorporate yoga, meditation, and a daily exercise regimen.
- Be grateful and stay in the present. Begin and end each day with a “thank you” for today.
- Laugh and catch a Melissa McCarthy movie.
- Understand who you are.
Professional help opens the door to understanding who you are, how you think and the choices you make. Greater understanding of oneself often leads to a healthier lifestyle and a happier, more fulfilling life.
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