Has your emotional state gone from having a gloomy day or two, to living with on-going feelings of hopelessness or other debilitating thoughts?

If you read Part 1 of this series “Hope Beyond Depression: My Story,” or you’ve been dealing with some dark emotions for a while—consider this list from the Mayo Clinic.

Common Symptoms Related to Major Depression:

  • Feelings of sadness, tearfulness, emptiness or hopelessness
  • Angry outbursts, irritability or frustration, even over small matters
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in most or all normal activities, such as sex, hobbies or sports
  • Sleep disturbances, including insomnia or sleeping too much
  • Tiredness and lack of energy, so even small tasks take extra effort
  • Changes in appetite—often reduced appetite and weight loss, but increased cravings for food and weight gain in some people
  • Anxiety, agitation or restlessness
  • Slowed thinking, speaking or body movements
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fixating on past failures or blaming yourself for things that aren’t your responsibility
  • Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions and remembering things
  • Frequent or recurrent thoughts of death, suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts or suicide
  • Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches

When I was in my pit of despair, I identified with 11/12 of these listed symptoms—thus, the diagnosis of being clinically depressed, otherwise known as major depression.

At the time, I was a young single adult—living over 1,500 miles from my family, trying to work hard at my first “real” job. I called my parents often to talk about how things were going with me. Over time, my dad recognized the symptoms and anguish of depression I was experiencing, and quickly arranged help for me in the city where I lived. I’m still so grateful that my parents got me the help I needed!

As the saying goes—Time heals all wounds. To a degree, this can be said of depression. It’s not a quick fix! And there are several factors that may be in play—including biological changes, personal circumstances, and even hereditary influences. But, given time along with treatment, healing of the mind and emotions will come.

Regardless of the reasons behind your depression, there are measures that can be taken to jump-start the healing process. We’ll continue with this information in our next segment of this series.

In the meantime, if you currently feel overcome by depressive feelings—especially to the point of suicidal thoughts, contact 9-1-1 immediately or go to a local physician’s office or hospital.

Depression can be turned around. Do not lose hope; get help and begin your healing process today!

 

Stay tuned next week for “Hope Beyond Depression, Part 3: Helpful Resources.”