Have you been asking yourself Why do I feel depressed because, really, my life is great?
Do you feel like you have everything that you want in your life but still you feel like you are carrying a hundred pound weight on your back, that you have no interest in anything and that all you want to do is sleep?
I am not a doctor but I can tell you that I used to feel that way all the time. I lived with this overwhelming sense of hopelessness and dread. I tried to be a good parent but keeping my energy up was close to impossible. I tried to be great wife but my irritability prevented that from happening. I had a great job but my performance suffered.
This went on for years. YEARS. I thought that I was managing it, and I was. Until I wasn’t.
One day, when I was 42 years old, I found myself in a closet banging my head against the wall. I had no idea what was going on.
A friend of mine scooped me up off the floor and took me to see a psychiatrist. He diagnosed me with chemical depression. He sent me off with some medication and instructions to follow up with a therapist.
That day changed my life.
I learned that chemical depression is a disease caused by a chemical imbalance. The same as heart disease, the same as thyroid disease. The way I was feeling was not because of some personal weakness but because my brain chemistry was letting me down. And that, treated, I was going to start enjoying my great life!
If you are feeling depressed but nothing is wrong in your life then you too could be chemical depressed. This means that you have a chemical imbalance that causes depressive symptoms without something actually being wrong.
So, what do you do if you are feeling depressed but nothing is wrong? I have some suggestions.
#1 – Ask yourself a few questions.
A good way to get a sense of whether or not you are chemical depressed is to ask yourself some questions. They are:
- Are you living with feelings of sadness, tearfulness, emptiness or hopelessness
- Are you more irritable than usual?
- Have you lost interest in things that used to make you happy?
- Are you not sleeping as well as you used to?
- Have your sleep patterns changed? Are you spending more time in bed?
- Have your eating patterns changed? Have you lost or gained weight?
- Are you more anxious than you used to be?
- Do you struggle with feelings of worthlessness?
- Do you have a hard time focusing?
- Do you think about committing suicide?
- Do you have new physical problems, like headaches or backaches.
If you answered yes to any, or all, of these questions you are most likely suffering from chemical depression.
Now, ask yourself if this has happened to your before? How regularly? Does anyone else in your family struggle with depression? Were there any traumatic experiences in your life that might have affected your deeply?
If you answer YES to any of those questions you most likely suffer from chemical depression.
What to do next?
#2 – Don’t be embarrassed.
Many people who are diagnosed with chemical depression are embarrassed. Embarrassed that they can’t just “suck it up.” That they might have some kind of personal deficiency that makes them weak in the face of this perceived disease.
Let me tell you! You are not weak. You are not lacking something that others have that make it so that you can ‘suck it up.’ You are actually incredibly brave for facing this issue head on.
Again, chemical depression is a disease caused by a chemical imbalance. The same as heart disease, the same as thyroid disease.
Chemical depression is perceived by many in society to be a personal weakness. I mean how can you be depressed if nothing is wrong? Luckily more and more people are speaking up about living with mental illness. More and more people, including many famous people, are being honest about living well with their condition and helping to eliminate the stigma about mental illness.
So, join the celebrities. Don’t be embarrassed. Chemical depression is not something that you could have prevented. But it is something that you can deal with.
#3 – See your primary care doctor immediately.
If you are feeling depressed but your life is great it is important that you reach out to your primary care doctor as soon as possible to tell her about your symptoms. Seeking medical help is key to dealing with depression.
Many primary care physicians are knowledgeable about the treatment of depression and can help you with treatment right away. Some primary care doctors might refer you to a psychiatrist who can help you diagnose and manage your depression.
Either way, see you doctor right away.