January 24, 2023
Depression is a comprehensive and exhaustive word. Through its representation in mainstream media and school curricula, many fail to see that the reality of depression often reveals itself as contrasting to its consistent depiction. This makes many people hesitant to pick up on the warning signs and symptoms that they may be dealing with depression and instead disregard it to be momentary sadness, laziness, or even normal.
Depressive disorder or clinical depression
According to the Mayo Clinic, depression, also known as major depressive disorder or clinical depression, is a “mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest,”. The second part of this classification is oftentimes the one that most choose to ignore and instead, view depression as being mainly attached to endless feelings of sadness. However, a loss of interest is an essential embodiment of depression and can result in several physical symptoms which are essential to be aware of. These physical symptoms include:
- Loss of pleasure or interest in usual hobbies or activities.
- Small tasks become difficult – seeming to take too much energy
- Overall tiredness or fatigue and a lack of energy
- Sleeping too much or sleeping too little (insomnia)
When you, or a loved one, become disconnected from what they enjoyed prior, such as card tournaments, a sport, work, or anything else, this is an important flag to acknowledge and should not be written off as inferior.
The first part of the classification, persistent feelings of sadness, is just as important and can similarly cause an onset of a whole different set of symptoms, including:
- Feelings of emptiness, hopelessness, and overall sadness
- More trouble making decisions or concentrating, in general,
- An increase in anxiety or irritation
- Feelings of guilt in the present or past situations
What makes depression so multifaceted is that each individual dealing with depression can be dealing with a completely different set of symptoms than another, making it difficult to realize what is happening. For example, some diagnosed clients indicated that one of their first symptoms was surprisingly unexplained joint and back pain.
The key is realizing that depression is not necessarily a sudden jolt of deep and infinite sadness and can instead separate a person from who they used to be through loss of interest, energy, and even sleep, making it essential to look at your behavioral patterns as a message from yourself to what may be happening.
The central idea remains that, unlike your favorite television show, depression has evolved from being understood as pure sadness to emerging as a diagnosis that evolves from patient to patient. The key to getting help is to be both aware and responsive to the patterns you see yourself or a family member breaking, as often, these changes enable depression to take form through its vast amount of symptoms.
If you feel unsure about the changes you or a loved one are feeling, don’t feel alone. The flags are hidden, and it is essential to turn to professionals to help unveil the symptoms or concerns one has through a variety of therapy personalized to one’s individualized needs. Silver Linings is ready to help you do this, with a team of people who are not only knowledgeable but also understanding of the multi-dimensional nature of mental health.