The World Health Organization estimates that about 264 million people around the globe suffer from depression. You’ve probably heard about depression as sadness, despair, or the overall lack of wanting to do — well — anything. Well, you’ve heard right. These are all a part of depression.
But just because one person is suffering from these particular symptoms doesn’t mean your symptoms and someone else’s will look the same. In fact, they could be completely different. This is why depression is such a tough topic.
Types of Depression
There are many different forms of depression, and according to the National Institute of Mental Health, you know you’re depressed if the symptoms you’re experiencing last for at least two weeks.
For example, some people get sad but bottle it inside, with the ultimate goal of hiding it from view. Another person may demonstrate clear-as-day bouts of crying, anger and screaming. Some forms, such as post-partum depression, are brought on by triggering events, while others, such as seasonal depression, may happen as often as a few times a year.
While the differences are plentiful, here are a few symptoms that are quite common among most people who are suffering from depression:
- Lethargic behavior
- A tendency to avoid basic hygiene practices
- Difficulty getting out of bed
- Changes in appetite or weight
- Thoughts of death or suicide
Living With Depression
The five above examples are almost universal when it comes to the symptoms of depression most people feel. Getting out of bed can be a serious struggle, especially when you feel like there’s nothing in life to get out of bed for. There’s a common thread that occurs: You feel awful, a pain that’s indescribable and that doesn’t hurt like a bruised elbow or stubbed toe but supersedes them in every way. Because this pain is so great, you’d rather not do anything at all.
Sleep sounds like a great option. The constant state of tiredness is eroding your psyche, and the insomnia you thought you had turned out to just be another form of depression. So you go back to sleep, hoping this will all, you know, go away. But it doesn’t. You wake up feeling just as miserable as when you went to sleep. Suddenly you realize this is a cycle that doesn’t seem like it’s ever going to end.
Hopelessness — that’s only scratching the surface. The entire world could be burning around you — heck, maybe it is — and yet even if it weren’t, you’d still feel the same. The constant intrusive thoughts of “Why bother?” and “What’s the point?” are now permanent residents in your brain.
Everything that used to be fun is a monumental task to even attempt. You used to consider yourself in shape or at least health-conscious. Now, you’re watching TV all day and just waiting for that ever-so-heavy sinking feeling in your chest to subside.
You’ve stopped interacting with friends and family as much. Maybe they don’t get it. How could they? How could they truly understand what you’re going through when, in retrospect, you don’t really know what’s going on yourself? You feel like it’s probably best not to even bother them.
But then, finally, it happens. You get out of bed, drag yourself into the shower and, even if just for a moment, you start to feel better. Your favorite soap smells especially nice today, and you remember you can finally try out that new shampoo you saw in that one ad. You finish showering, brush your teeth and then head to your closet and think for the first time in ages that you’ll probably look great in that new shirt you’ve been meaning to try on.
Work seems a little better today, the boss seems like they’re in a good mood and your favorite parking spot is finally available. As the day carries on, you’re starting to forget all about that indescribable pain. That is, until you get to your favorite Chinese takeout only to realize you’ve left your debit card at home. “Just great,” you say to yourself.
After heading back home to get your card, you realize your rent payment is due and you’ve completely forgotten about it — no Chinese food for you. You scrounge for something edible from your cabinets, only to realize you’re out of butter and milk.
And then it happens. That pain you can’t verbalize starts to come back. “No, no, not now! I was doing so good today!” You look at your bed with displeasure but also a reemerging sense of comfort. You think to yourself, “Maybe it’ll get better tomorrow.”
Getting Help With Depression
Depression comes in many forms and can be triggered by all sorts of factors in life. While your own example may differ from the above, know that what you’re feeling is unique to you but also experienced by millions of others. You’re not alone. It’s possible to get help — it starts with recognizing that something’s not quite right.
Asking for help can be one of the biggest obstacles to overcome, especially if you’re going on this journey alone. A strong support system doesn’t always have to be in the form of friends and family. In fact, while some people find great comfort in knowing they’ve got support from their loved ones, many people prefer to rely on the empathetic assistance of well-intentioned strangers.
It’s time to take back control of your life. You’re worth so much more than you could ever imagine. We’re not going to tell you it’s always going to be an easy road, but we can tell you that the journey down that road is always worth it. And, it is possible to feel like you again.
At FHE Health, we know all about how crippling depression can be. Whether you’ve turned to drugs or alcohol to cope with the pain or you’re just tired of feeling you’ll never get back to normal, we can help. Call us today at (833) 596-3502. You don’t have to do this alone — when you’re ready, we’re here.