When is depression a disorder?
People feel depressed from time to time. It is usually in relation to a sad or severely disappoining life event. People feel depressed when they go through a partner break up, lose their job or are grieving the death of a loved one.
Normal depression can last for a couple of days to a couple of weeks. People may socialize less and have periods of crying. Often times they will reach out to friends and loved ones, who help them through the hard time.
Emotional / mental conditions become disorders when they start to cause your life to become disorderly, and unmanagable.
Some of the signs that depression may be a disorder include:
1. Inability to maintain a normal, healthy sleep schedule
2. Lack of interest in activities that you used to enjoy.
3. Inability to enjoy simple pleasures such as good tasting food.
4. Lack of caring about personal grooming and personal hygeine.
6.Thoughts that life has no purpose or suicidal thoughts.
7. Inability to feel motivated to take care of basic household chores / house falling into disarray.
8. Lack of interest in sex.
9. Feeling that your presence will bring other people down.
10. Lasting for many weeks or months and not getting better.
11. Feelings of worthlessness, and hopelessnes.
12. Fear for your mental well being.
13. Unusual, unhealthy eating patterns, weight gain or loss.
14. Feeling like there is something wrong with you as a person.
If you feel like your depression is continuing for too long without getting better, that is enough of a reason to reach out for help or seek professional treatment.
Feelings of severe hopelessness are not normal. Thoughts of having no purpose or being worthless are also not normal or healthy.
Your mental health is very important. It affects your quality of life. If you feel like you used to be a different person and cannot get back in touch with the part of you that used to care about the enjoyment of life, then this is a reason to seek help.
You do not have to feel guilty or ashamed about having depression or any kind of mental/ psychological disorder. It does not make you weak.
Depression can be caused by different things. Normal depression coincides with life events. It might be a disorder if it did not occur in relationship with any events.
It could also have developed into a disorder if it has lasted longer than you think it should have based on the initial circumstances that it started with.
It is not normal or healthy to live with depression. You have just as much of a right to quality of life as anyone else does.
Everyone will not understand. If you have tried to talk to someone and they minimized or discounted your depression then it is not the right person to talk to.
People that have never experienced mental illness do not always understand or take it seriously. It does not mean that everyone will react in the same way.
The best indication that you may need professional mental health treatment is that you are wondering if you do. It is not a regular thought that people usually have.
Your feelings of of unworthines or guilt may tend to keep you from reaching out for help. This should be another red flag to you that you do need help.
Depression that has not resolved itself, or is getting worse may be serious and you should consider being evaluated.
You are a special and unique person. Your quality of life is worth whatever it takes to improve it. Do not give up if the first effort of seeking help is not successful.