The holidays are behind us. We’re waiting to see whether the groundhog will see his shadow or not next month. In the Northeast it’s freezing one day, rainy the next, and blustery winds have us jamming our hats down close around our ears. It may be getting lighter earlier in the evening but I really haven’t noticed it yet. I ask myself why I feel so exhausted? Sometimes restlessness and irritability take exhaustion’s place. I’m frequently up in the middle of the night worrying. I don’t feel like myself and I don’t like how I feel.
What might be moody blues for one person can be a true depression for another. There are different types of depressions. Seasonal Affective Disorder, Major Depressive disorder, and Persistent Depression are just three out of many types of depression. The following is a list of symptoms that may signal depression.
· Trouble concentrating, difficulty making decisions, forgetfulness
· Feeling guilty, worthless, or hopeless
· Disturbed sleep: either too much or not enough
· Changes in appetite: no appetite or frequently feeling hungry
· Loss of interest in thing you usually enjoy
· Body aches and pains
· Persistent sad or empty feelings. Sometimes feelings of anxiety
· Irritability or restlessness
· Thoughts of dying or suicidal thoughts, plans, or attempts
Remember to talk to your health care provider if you are concerned that you might be depressed. If you have a few of these symptoms for at least two weeks, call your provider even if you aren’t worried that you might be depressed. You might be depressed, and you can feel better. Sometimes we as the depressed person is the last to know and often our friends or family notice it first.
There are treatments that may include medication or therapy. Not everyone needs medication, but if the provider offers it, do yourself a favor and talk it through. Use every second of that twenty-minute encounter with your provider. Write your questions and symptoms down before you leave your nest. You are the most important person on your health care team.
Maybe you’ve made your appointment to see your health provider but it’s not until next week. In the meantime, take a brisk walk, begin that meditation practice you’ve been planning to do (at least for today), and pick up the phone to share your feelings with a friend. Remember that no feeling is permanent, and this too shall pass. We can help it to move out of the way and not be at our feeling’s mercy.
Your health care provider is the best person to speak with about your concerns. For more information go check out NIMH » Depression (nih.gov) You’re not alone and can feel better soon!
Remember that good mental health rocks!