18.1 percent of U.S citizens struggle with Depression according to the Anxiety And Depression Association Of America. It is something that few like to talk about, but the reality is, depression is truly difficult to face alone.
“Depression is a mood disorder that can begin at any age,” states Psychology today’s Deborah Serani.
It can begin due to a variety of reasons, some of which include overwhelming life stress, isolation, the death of a loved one, trauma, a break-up, divorce, diet (click here for more details), and some even believe that genetics could play a part.
As a result of this, it is important to know when symptoms of depression begin to surface so that proper measures can be taken to confront it. You are not alone if you are struggling with depression. Don’t be afraid to get support if you feel that you need to… it can make all the difference in the world.
Below are some signs that could indicate that what you’re going through may not be just sadness.
You may be dealing with depression if…
1. You’re finding it difficult to notice beauty in nature
Sunrises, beautiful views, sunsets, flowers, wildlife – whatever normally catches your eye just doesn’t anymore. Someone may point something out when you’re outside or driving, but you rarely see it for yourself (let alone have the ability to enjoy it).
Depression cloaks almost everything with a filter of negativity, making it extremely difficult to notice the things that make life beautiful.
2. You love going to sleep but dread getting up in the morning
The highlight of your day is crawling into your bed. Likewise, getting up in the morning is a chore, and you’re never quite ready to tackle life – you feel as if life… will always tackle you.
Sleep is a wonderful thing, but when it consumes your every moment of free time, it can be a sign that depression is beginning to take control.
3. You don’t feel like you deserve to laugh
You may even stop yourself when you feel a chuckle coming on. You want to be able to enjoy yourself, but feel that you shouldn’t. Even if you do laugh, it is empty, and the emotion underneath it is dry.
You feel that enjoying good things, in general, is something for others and not yourself. To that end, you may even feel like you’re on the outside looking in when people around you are having fun – like you’re there but not truly present.
4. You blame yourself for EVERYTHING
You feel that you are always to blame, even when people say it isn’t your fault.
The phrase ‘you couldn’t have done anything better’ doesn’t apply to you because you feel that there is almost ALWAYS something that you could’ve done better in any given situation. This can also be a sign of anxiety.
5. You find little to no hope for the future
Depression makes talk of future hopes and dreams very difficult — not something to enjoy conversating about. Those who suffer from depression sometimes even dread the future, thinking deep, scary thoughts about what it could hold.
Dream job, car, career… not fun topics of conversation.
6. You are overwhelmed by the negativity of the news cycle and don’t see much positivity in the world
You can’t seem to understand the violence in the world and don’t see much hope for a better future. You take it to mean that the best way to live is hunkered in a shell.
You want to keep your loved ones safe, but inside you know that this is never completely possible. When you see a violent news story, you may think thoughts such as how could this have happened? or who were the victims? You find it difficult to move on unscathed, and some stories may even affect great portions of your day.
7. You don’t want to go out anymore
And you dread when people prod you about ‘how come you never hang out’? Even if you want to go out and enjoy yourself, you feel as though you don’t deserve to. So instead, you opt to stay homebound.
Too much isolation is a sign of depression; they are often connected. Depression often pulls people away from social interaction, an extremely important human need.
8. You don’t feel joy in any of your accomplishments
You want to feel good about the award you won, or that recognition you received, but you don’t have it in you to accept that you’ve accomplished something good.
You may not even want to think about your accolades because your self-loathing won’t allow it.
9. You don’t feel like you deserve a partner
If you’re single, you don’t feel like you deserve to have a relationship with anyone. You feel that you should just stay single, even though you may long to share your life with someone.
And if you’re in a current relationship, you distance yourself sometimes, often feeling uncomfortable with being loved since you don’t feel that you deserve it. Your partner senses when you pull away, due to this, and it is a point of struggle in your relationship.
10. You don’t see anything special about yourself
Other people see good things in you, but you can’t see them for yourself. You struggle with low self-esteem and may not even be able to take a compliment very well.
You find it hard to accept when people shower you with praise and become uncomfortable when that happens.
11. Simple communication with others is extremely difficult
At work, in public, with friends, and even with family — depression makes communication with others hard, to say the least.
Depression is doubly draining because, on top of the weight of it, there is social pressure to act like you’re okay, lest you be questioned about why you look so sad — a situation that is (needless to say) not a desirable every-day experience.
If you feel that you are dealing with depression, don’t be afraid to seek out therapy. The mind, just like the body, can get sick sometimes as the hardships of life take their toll.
If you feel pressure to be the strong one in any given situation — ‘impervious to weakness’ — know that taking care of yourself is crucial to your ability to both function in your own life — and care for others.
In addition to these 11 signs, the most obvious sign of depression is a feeling of not belonging here on the earth. If you are dealing with thoughts of self-harm or suicide, please call 1-800-273-8255 to talk with someone who can offer you support.
Don’t be afraid to talk to someone about what’s going on in your mind; taking that step is a brave move and is a life-changing experience for so many people around the world who struggle with this.
Care for yourself.
For more information on depression, feel free to click here.
If you desire to search for a therapist, you can click here.
[The information in this article is not a substitute for sound medical advice from a licensed professional. Always consult a psychologist, therapist, or doctor for all matters concerning health and wellness before making a decision regarding treatment. The information in this article is meant solely to inform, not to provide medical advice, as I am unqualified to provide such information. Furthermore, I do not claim any responsibility for anything that occurs as a result of your contacting of any of the above linked or mentioned organizations or entities.]