If You Have Depression, Keep Fighting, You Are Strong
While we all feel sad, moody or low from time to time, some people experience these feelings intensely, for long periods of time (weeks, months or even years) and sometimes without any apparent reason.
What if your feelings of sadness linger, are excessive, or interfere with your work, sleep, or recreation? What if you’re feeling fatigue or worthlessness, or experiencing weight changes along with your sadness? You may be experiencing major depression.
Depression is more than just a low mood – it’s a serious condition that affects your physical and mental health. Depression affects how you feel about yourself and makes life more difficult to manage from day to day.
Also, depression can steal your physical, emotional and mental energy. But to those who have not experienced depression, the question of “how depression makes your body feel” might be a strange one. What does a mental illness have to do with your body, anyway?
You need to know that depression can hurt. Furthermore, depression as an illness frequently shows up with aches and pains. It can feel like someone is constantly pushing your head down and your body towards the ground. Holding your head up and smiling can feel impossible. Sometimes, it feels like gravity is just working twice as hard on you.
People with depression cannot simply “pull themselves together” and get better.
Treatment with counseling, medication, or both is key to recovery.
Here are some signs of depression, read carefully. If you have five or more of these symptoms for most of the day, nearly every day, for at least two weeks, and the symptoms are severe enough to interfere with your daily activities, you may have major depression. Your primary care doctor is a good place to start.
- Depressed mood, sadness, or an “empty” feeling, or appearing sad or tearful to others
- Loss of interest or pleasure in activities you once enjoyed
- Significant weight loss when not dieting, or significant weight gain
- Inability to sleep or excessive sleeping
- Restlessness or irritation, or feelings of “dragging”
- Fatigue or loss of energy
- Feelings of worthlessness, or excessive or inappropriate guilt
- Difficulty thinking or concentrating, or indecisiveness
- Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide without a specific plan, or a suicide attempt or specific plan for committing suicide
You need to know when someone confides that they have depression, they are not revealing a weakness. Rather, they are demonstrating their strength despite a difficult, often chronic illness.
And if you have depression, keep fighting. You are strong. You will succeed, you will win.