Did you know that according to the National Institute of Mental Health (2015) that 350 million people across the globe struggle with depression? Depression is often viewed as a deliberating feeling that often leaves you in bed. Here are 10 ways to recognize if you or someone you love is depressed.
1. You are in chronic pain. Pain can be unbearable and hard to deal with especially if the cause has not been discovered or a cure, treatment option or pain management is not available. Untreated, prolonged pain can cause depression because the pain is sent through the spinal cord to the Cerebral Cortex. The Cerebral Cortex then assigns meaning to the pain based on current or previous social and personal experiences.
2. You have an eating disorder. Individuals who eat too little or too much could suffer from depression. Often times the feelings of guilt, shame and fear take over when a person eats, leading to a vicious cycle of over or under eating. When an individual feels they cannot win, they feel defeated and often fall into what seems like a hopeless battle.
3. You are having trouble in a relationship. Prolonged conflict in a relationship can lead to feeling helpless, stuck, overwhelmed and sad. Relationship issues can cause the brain to release unhealthy amounts of the stress hormone cortisol into the brain causing your situation to feel out of control.
4. You feel numb. Individuals often become depressed without even realizing it because they go through life like a robot with no emotion or feeling. Often numbness is a result of emotions and feelings being suppressed out of fear of being rejected or hurt.
5. You want to sleep all the time. Did you know that a healthy person only needs 7-8 hours of sleep per day? If you find yourself tired all the time and sleeping your day away, then there is a good chance you are depressed.
6. You are drinking too much alcohol. A lot of research suggests that certain alcoholic beverages are good for you. However, if you cannot wait to get home from work to open a can of beer, whiskey, or vodka and one turns into 3 or 4, chances are, you’re depressed.
7. You lack a desire to be around people. If you would rather be playing video games, engrossed in a book or spend most days avoiding people, chances are, you’re depressed. Depressed people often want to be alone.
8. You cry a lot. If you find yourself crying a lot, feeling sad and alone, chances are your depressed. Often this is the result of feeling like no one cares, alone or stuck.
9. You use drugs casually. If you use Marijuana on a regular basis to cope with life, chances are, you are struggling with depression. Street drugs often help individuals feel relaxed and carefree, however, what many do not realize, is they’re actually causing you to sink further into depression.
10. You have stopped caring about your appearance. Often when we become depressed we simply stop caring about how we look or what others might think of us. If you find yourself staying in your comfy clothes, not caring if your teeth are brushed or hair is combed, there is a good chance you can be depressed.
The good news is depression is treatable. It takes time, but if you're committed to getting better, a counselor can help you discover the root of your depression and teach you skills to overcome it. You are not a hopeless case.