How do you know if you are depressed or just experiencing a ‘low mood’? Ask yourself the following questions:
1. How long has this ‘low mood’ lasted? Everyone has periods of lower energy, lower moods; part of the human experience. But if it is long lasting – that is a RED FLAG. In other words, pay attention.
2. Is there a reason, an event preceding the mood, such as a breakup, death of a loved one, personal loss, natural disaster, experience of violence, or PTSD? All of these, and more, can lead to experiencing depression and grief. Anxiety is also triggered. More RED FLAGS.
3. How are sleep patterns: insomnia or excessive sleep? Too anxious to sleep, cannot control a busy mind? Or, the need to escape through sleep? By the way, we may alternate between periods of insomnia and periods excessive sleep.
4. Eating patterns: either eating too much or too little.
5. Feelings of worthlessness (RED FLAG).
6. Feelings of ‘what’s the use’ (RED FLAG).
7. Feeling total lack of hope; consider ending it all, suicide (MAJOR RED FLAG)! Important to note: If this is the only way you think you can end the pain, STOP! BREATHE! There are alternatives. Stick with us. Believe it: THIS TOO SHALL PASS.
There are other indications of depression. Which have you experienced? Tell us about them, share your experience. You could help save a life!