Black dog Monday

Depression is a common experience. We have all felt ‘depressed’ about a friend’s cold shoulder, misunderstandings in our marriage, tussles with teenage children – sometimes we feel ‘down’ for no reason at all.

However, depression can become an illness when:

  • The mood state is severe
  • It lasts for 2 weeks or more and
  • It interferes with our ability to function at home or at work.

Signs of a depression include:

  • Lowered self-esteem (or self-worth)
  • Change in sleep patterns, that is, insomnia or broken sleep
  • Changes in appetite or weight
  • Less ability to control emotions such as pessimism, anger, guilt, irritability and anxiety
  • Varying emotions throughout the day, for example, feeling worse in the morning and better as the day progresses
  • Reduced capacity to experience pleasure: you can’t enjoy what’s happening now, nor look forward to anything with pleasure. Hobbies and interests drop off
  • Reduced pain tolerance: you are less able to tolerate aches and pains and may have a host of new ailments
  • Changed sex drive: absent or reduced
  • Poor concentration and memory: some people are so impaired that they think that they are becoming demented
  • Reduced motivation: it doesn’t seem worth the effort to do anything, things seem meaningless
  • Lowered energy levels.

If you have such feelings and they persist for most of the day for more days than not over a two week period, and they interfere with your ability to manage at home and at work, then you might benefit from getting an assessment by a skilled professional.

Having one or other of these features, by themselves, is unlikely to indicate depression, however there could be other causes which may warrant medical assessment.

7 comments

  1. This was a great self check or for friends and loved ones. I like the concept of giving depression living attributes, a name, and coming to terms with it. Silly wee Willy Nilly seems harmless enough now. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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