Living with Depression or just sad?
What is the difference between living with depression and just being sad? First, let’s compare the two.
We all go through loss in our lives. We lose loved ones to death. We lose jobs. We go through break-ups with spouses or significant others in our lives. All of these things can cause us to go through a period of sadness or grief. This is considered sadness.
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What is Depression?
What is true depression? Let’s look at the medical definition of Depressive Disorder, also known as Clinical Depression.
Depression (major depressive disorder) is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act. Fortunately, it is also treatable. Depression causes feelings of sadness and/or a loss of interest in activities once enjoyed. It can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems and can decrease a person’s ability to function at work and at home.https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/depression/what-is-depression
Some symptoms of depression include:
Depression symptoms can vary from mild to severe and can include:
Feeling sad or having a depressed mood
Loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed
Changes in appetite — weight loss or gain unrelated to dieting
Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
Loss of energy or increased fatigue
Increase in purposeless physical activity (e.g., hand-wringing or pacing) or slowed movements and speech (actions observable by others)
Feeling worthless or guilty
Difficulty thinking, concentrating or making decisions
Thoughts of death or suicide
Symptoms must last at least two weeks for a diagnosis of depression.https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/depression/what-is-depression
Are you living with depression?
Now I have explained a little about the differences between being sad or grieving and true depression. You may already have a diagnosis of depression or you may be wondering if your grief has become depression.
Let’s talk more about living with depression. For instance, you may have suffered a loss and you’ve been sad and grieving this loss. Perhaps you have tried to return to a normal routine, but the daily sadness still lingers. Now you feel like you just can’t snap out of it. No matter what you do, you just can’t feel happy, satisfied or joyful over anything in your life.
If this feeling is now effecting your daily life and has continued for more than two weeks it is time to talk to your doctor.
Help for living with depression
Recognizing the signs and symptoms of depression is a start to getting help. Then you have to take action in order to start living with depression.
Living with depression is a daily struggle, but there is help and it is manageable. Talking to your doctor is the first major step.
Medications can make living with depression easier
Once your doctor determines that you are suffering from clinical depression he/she will most likely prescribe a medication to help with the symptoms.
There are many different medications that can help a person to manage living with depression. You must take the medication as prescribed. You also must follow up with your doctor about how the medication is or is not working for you.
Be sure to check any information on the medication such as ALL side effects. Look for even the less common side effects. Every person is different and every medication affects each person differently. Pay close attention when starting a new drug and report back to your doctor.
For example, when I was diagnosed with depression and first put on medication, I started having insomnia. I’d be unable to sleep for 2-3 days at a time. I looked up my new depression drug because that was the only thing that had recently changed for me. Way down at the bottom of the information it said it could possibly cause insomnia.
I talked to my doctor and she changed my medication. Shortly thereafter I started having night terrors. Once again, I looked up my newest medication. You guessed it! Way down at the bottom it stated in rare cases some patients reported night terrors.
Back to the doctor and I’m now on a medication that works great for my depression. Without unpleasant side effects, I might add! You must communicate with your doctor! Not just about depression, this is a fact with any medical problem you are enduring.
Daily Living with Depression
When you are clinically depressed daily life becomes a struggle. Life is a constant state of melancholy. You just feel worthless and hopeless all day, every day.
Living with depression takes away your sense of worth. Meaning that you can’t find a purpose or use for waking up and doing anything each day. That feeling then takes away all your hope for each new day. It becomes an endless cycle.
Eventually, you can’t seem to find a reason to do anything. You don’t want to get dressed, take a shower or leave your home. You stop going and doing any of the things that once gave you pleasure. You just don’t enjoy the things you once did, like lunch with friends.
You feel guilty at first, but you make excuses when friends invite you to do things. But you feel like a wet blanket and don’t want to ruin their good time with your bad moods. You basically feel like Eyeore, but remember Eyeore’s friends always wanted him with them!
Ways of Living With Depression Daily
You are going to be tired. Constantly. Don’t stay in bed all day.
You’re not going to want to eat. Eat something anyway.
You are going to want to cancel plans just to go home and watch Netflix. Go out dancing with friends anyway.
You are going to want to cry over spilled coffee or any little thing. Let yourself cry, but then remind yourself there are a lot of worse things in life.
You are going to be happy and sad at the same time, and I know that sounds crazy but it’s the truth. You are going to need constant reassurance that you are still worthy and loved by others. Accept invitations from friends. Allow your friends to love you and enjoy time with you. You need them and they want to help you.
Remember depression comes with anxiety. It comes with no appetite, sleeping 10 hours and waking up tired. It comes with the illusion of standing in a room with hundreds of people and being seen by none of them. It doesn’t make sense. It’s impossible to understand so don’t be afraid to let your friends know that you are fighting a constant internal battle. So they can be that support system.
Never give up.
In conclusion to living with depression
I’ve always been a happy go lucky type of person. I found ways to have fun and enjoy myself, even in situations that were not much fun.
Due to a combination of events in my life, I found myself living with depression. Depression is a disorder, a diagnosis much like any other health disorder. It is not our fault that we have this disorder.
Sometimes life becomes overwhelming and we can’t snap out of the sadness and feelings of melancholy. Do not be ashamed to ask for help!
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