The term depressed is often thrown around willy nilly, and the medicalization of everyday life does not help. It can be easy to confuse everyday symptoms with depression and some symptoms that we may associate with other illnesses could be actually linked to depression, which further complicates the diagnosis. Here are 3 clear signs you’re battling with depression.
Depression is sometimes the result of feeling trapped, hopeless and unable to get out of a bad situation. This is the origin of the maxim that depression is anger without enthusiasm. Cultivating a victimhood mentality creates depression when you don’t have a target for the anger and blame, though it allows you to avoid personal responsibility and gives you an excuse not to do anything. However, clinical depression can arise when you want to act but cannot find the drive to do so.
They may have internalized the rage at someone abusing them or general anger at society because they don’t want to take responsibility, now stuck in depression because they are angry at themselves. And clinical depression can be a side effect of too much empathy, feeling the pain of those around you to the point it is emotionally draining and you have no one to turn to for your own support.
There are also people who think it is immoral to turn away any request for assistance; they are unwilling to assign responsibility on those who continually ask for help, they feel guilty if they do not, and they become angry at themselves for being doormats. Conversely, someone who continually beats themselves up and always blames themselves may do so because they are depressed, in order to justify how they feel.
Clinical depression is often a side effect of chronic pain. It regularly occurs along with debilitating health problems and after accidents. Someone is prone to being clinically depressed when they lose both their job and personal identity after an accident, shifting from caregiver or breadwinner to the patient, the dependent and the lower status person in the household. These are the people who take pain medication and find they don’t feel as good as they think they should. Their default assumption is that they need more pain medication. The reality is that many of them need counseling for depression.
Depression can alter sleep in two ways. One is the classic case of the person who cannot find the energy or drive to get out of bed. The other is chronic insomnia, where the guilt and anxiety makes it difficult for them to sleep. If someone is now sleeping too much or too little, it is a possible sign of clinical depression. However, there should be a medical evaluation as well, since shifts in sleep patterns and appetite can also be caused by hormonal problems like a thyroid out of whack. If the individual experiences changes in temperature sensitivity, bowel movements and blood pressure, it is more likely a thyroid problem.
If you feel any of these symptoms, then I suggest you start seeking help immediately. It’s easy to dismiss depression as “just a phase”, but the quicker you seek help, the lesser the chances the situation devolves into disaster.