How Can I Be Depressed?


Don’t fret. Depression is very common. Many will experience some type of depression in their life time. Depression is a serious mental disorder that shouldn’t be ignored. A major depressive disorder is defined as a persistent low mood that is accompanied by low self-esteem and by a loss of interest or pleasure in normally enjoyable activities. The disorder is a disabling condition that adversely affects a person’s family, work, or school life, sleeping and eating habits, and general health. In the United States, around 3.4% of people with major depression commit suicide, and up to 60% of people who commit suicide had depression or another mood disorder. Due to the severity of depression one should always be informed of the symptoms and treatment plans. 

Educate yourself on depression and keep a close watch on friends and/or family who you think may be suffering from this disorder.
Symptoms may include:

  • irritability (short fuse)
  • pessimism about the future
  • sadness
  • home very dark and gloomy (no light)
  • difficulty with concentration
  • fatigue or lack of energy
  • feelings of hopelessness and/or helplessness
  • feelings of worthlessness, guilt, or self-hate
  • social isolation
  • loss of interest in once pleasurable activities
  • sleep problems (insomnia or excessive sleeping)
  • dramatic changes in appetite along with corresponding weight loss or gain
  • suicidal ideation or behavior
If you notice these symptoms in yourself or someone else and the moods are consistent all day everyday for two weeks or more than one should seek professional help. Modern medicine and therapy have been known to ease symptoms and assist many with depression.
Unfortunately, everyone will not seek help. Many are ashamed, embarrassed, financially impaired, or too depressed to seek help. Alternative therapies can help individuals cope with depression, get a handle on symptoms, or beat the disease altogether.
Some ways to manage depression:
1.  Exercise (physical activity with a partner or group).
2.  Educate self (self-help books, blogs, websites on depression medication, and coping skills).
3.  Seek out Therapeutic Counseling
4.  Avoid Recreational Drugs & Alcohol (these activities intensify depression).
5.  Adequate Sleep
6.  Journal (write down your thoughts daily).
7.  Meditation (yoga, massage, prayer, focus).
If you suffer from depression you are not alone. Seek help, stay informed, and advocate for others. When our community is involved the better the outcome; stereotypes will be erased and people can get adequate care without fear of stigma. Let’s put an end to mental health embarrassment and empower one another. Share this blog with someone you love today.
~Karlyn LeBlanc, LMSW

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