Depression is a word that is sometimes used loosely and interchangeably with sadness. For example, when a relationship fails, major sadness may follow. However, sadness should not be confused with depression, as the latter is confirmed by a clinical diagnosis.
Some of the causes of depression include an intensive illness such as cancer, ageing without family or societal support, sexual abuse, grief and family history of depression. There are warning signs that you are experiencing depression, and if you do, there are healthy ways to go about it. Here are four warning signs of depression and ways you can navigate the condition.
- Improper Sleeping Patterns
Sleep disturbances can be in the form of insomnia or oversleeping when it comes to depression. When going through depression, the overwhelming sadness and over-active mind, which usually is a sign of anxiety, may keep you up at night. This only means that the next day, not only will you be tackling overwhelming feelings of depression, but physical exhaustion, which is a result of lack of sleep.
On the other hand, you may find that you are oversleeping. Oversleeping may be a coping mechanism to escape the moments spent awake. Being awake means having to push through the feelings of heaviness and sadness while trying to accomplish the day’s demands, which is difficult.
Consider attending therapy for anxiety to tackle sleep disturbances. The fact that you’re too anxious to experience the day mindfully or too anxious to sleep means you may require professional assistance. No amount of sleeping pills or caffeine boosts will deal with the root cause of anxiety and depression.
If you no longer enjoy being around people or hanging around buzzing spaces suddenly, you may be experiencing depression. For example, if you were a social butterfly, you might find that people will begin commenting on how quiet you have become. You may begin to notice that you’d rather spend more time indoors than outdoors.
The reasons for self-isolation vary, including the fear of being a burden to others if they notice that you are mentally and emotionally struggling. You may also fear being judged or having your condition minimized because you may seemingly ‘have it all” and ‘others may have it worse.’ It, therefore, seems easier to self-isolate.
Although it may seem easier to self-isolate, interaction is a part of the healing process. You can consider picking a few trusted friends or family to regularly hang out with, even indoors and not out in public if it’s too taxing. You don’t have to share your thoughts and emotions with them whenever you meet, but enjoying moments with people who genuinely care about you may help you feel better about yourself. Prolonged periods of self-isolation may intensify depression.
- Alcohol or Drug Abuse
If you find yourself heavily relying on alcohol to enjoy yourself, relax, fall asleep or temporarily quieten your mind, you might be experiencing symptoms of depression. Drugs and alcohol can provide a temporary feel-good state of mind but have negative effects on your wellness. Seeing that alcohol is a depressant, you may find that the more you drink, the more depressed you feel.
It’s crucial to reach out to an alcohol and drugs helpline should you find yourself in such a position. Such entities are qualified to refer therapists who will work with them to help you through depression in a healthier way.
- Consistent Thoughts Of Death
Death is an inevitable occurrence; however, if you imagine death as the better option than living, you may be experiencing depression. Being alive means having to experience the heaviness of depression, and death may seem like the answer to ending what may seem to be a never-ending cycle of sadness. You may begin visualizing your funeral or feeling pleased with the thought that you can end your life.
Although it may seem as if death is the answer, speaking with psychotherapists may help you realize that your time on earth is precious though it feels heavy. Psychotherapists will help you navigate the heaviness you feel daily. You may reach a stage where you hardly think about death as an answer to depression because of the coping tools you gathered.
Depression is a mental condition that requires professional guidance to navigate, although it’s sometimes mistakenly brushed off feelings of sadness. Some of the signs that you are experiencing depression include insomnia or oversleeping. Regardless of the type of sleep disturbance, you can reach out to a therapist to help you from a professional standpoint. Self-isolation and constant thoughts of death are also major warning signs of depression.