“I just don’t feel like myself.”“I can’t seem to concentrate on anything.”“I cry for no reason all the time.”If you have recently experienced any of the thoughts above and have noticed these thoughts lingering for some time, you could be experiencing symptoms of depression. But before we make any assumptions, it is important to clarify the difference between being sad and actually struggling with depression. Sadness, like any other emotion, is healthy in moderation and usually is triggered by an event or situation. Sadness eventually passes. However, depression is more than just a passing emotion. It is a lingering state that affects every aspect of your life… you don’t enjoy the things you used to, things seem less worthwhile, and you just don’t feel like yourself.Truthfully, many people do not seek help for depression because they are unaware of what symptoms of depression look like are or do not recognize they are depressed. And, there is still strong stigma around seeking help for mental health issues, which can be discouraging for people to reach out for professional and personal support.Thankfully, help is available! I want to assure you that if you are struggling with depression, you are not alone in your struggle. In 2017, over 15 million Americans were struggling with some form of depression. Depression is a very real thing and it is very treatable. Reaching out for help to deal with depression is not a sign of weakness. Getting help for yourself and improving your overall quality of life is a sign of strength and courage.If you feel like you are struggling with any form of depression, consider the following options:
- Reach out to professional help (i.e. your primary care doctor and/or therapist)
- Get educated on the signs and symptoms of depression
- Stop beating yourself up for not feeling like your ‘normal’ self
Remember…. there is always hope and it is okay to ask for help.