So, if you find that you are struggling with hopelessness and despair, you might consider that you are struggling with more than just sadness and that it’s time to get help.
4. Is It Getting Worse?
Depression gets worse the longer it goes untreated. It’s a sad fact but it’s true.
Do you find that your depression is worsening over time? Has it come and gone in recent years but are you finding that it is present more often than not? Are you finding it harder to deal with than before?
Usually, when we are sad, our sadness doesn’t progressively get worse. Instead, it gets better. When my mom died, the first few weeks and months were incredibly painful. I was sad sad sad. But, as life has gone on and time has passed, my sadness has lessened. Yes, I still have moments when I am deeply sad but that sadness passes. It certainly hasn’t gotten worse.
If you find that your down mood is getting worse and not better, you might definitely be struggling with depression and learning how to manage it is important.
5. Does Depression Run In Your Family?
In my family, depression goes back generations. My great grandfather was institutionalized for 40 years and my grandfather was subjected to horrific treatments in the ’50s. I was diagnosed with depression when I was 42 and learned then that, in many cases, depression, and other mood disorders, are passed down in the family.
Of course, families can struggle with situational depression. My siblings and my kids were as devastated as I was about my mom’s death and we all struggled. But we have all been able to move forward and not have the sadness affect our lives.
Consider your family. Does your mother or your sister struggle with their moods? Does your dad get angry easily or your child disappear into their rooms some days? It is very likely that, if someone else in your family struggles as you do, then you very well might be chemically depressed and it might be time to get help.
Knowing if you are depressed or just sad is a key part to figuring out how to manage it.
If you find that nothing significant has happened in your life, that your hopelessness has been with you for a while and is getting worse, and if mood disorders run in your family, then you might be struggling with chemical depression. And if you are dealing with chemical depression, reach out to your primary care doctor to see what kind of treatment they might recommend helping you manage it.
If you are sad because of a recent loss in your life or something that has happened but your sadness hasn’t lasted for a long time or is getting worse, then you might be dealing with situational depression. I would encourage you to take care of yourself, eat and sleep well, exercise, and see if it passes with time.
If it doesn’t, again, reach out to your primary care doctor and see what they might recommend to help you get though this rough period of time.
Depression and sadness don’t have to hold you back from living your life! Face them head on, learn how to manage them and move forward. You will be ok!
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Written By Mitzi Bockmann Originally Appeared In Let Your Dreams Begin