Depression is different from general sadness or loneliness. While we all feel sad sometimes due to certain events and mishaps in our lives like break up or loss of a job or a family member but when someone has feelings of sadness or despair everyday for more than two weeks to an extent that it interferes with their day to day activities, then they may be having clinical depression.
While some people experience a major depressive disorder once in their life but for some it can become chronic and relapse time and again, explains psychologist Carey Bremridge, “Depressive episodes can become more severe with each relapse and may become a chronic dysthymia (a persistent mild depression). In some cases, it can even become treatment resistant.”
Hence, learning to spot the signs of an imminent relapse is crucial so that you can take proactive steps to address it before it grows further.
Here are the major red flags that might indicate a relapse:
1). You get stressed and irritated
When you are usually calm and centered your capacity to handle stressful situations is high but when you are feeling depressed you become highly prone to stress and irritability.
If you find that you are losing your cool at small incidents and snapping at friends or families at slightest of incidents, you might be in a depressive phase.
2). You isolate yourself
A little bit of solitude and me time is good for everyone but if you have started becoming a hermit and you isolate yourself for longer durations of time, it can be a sign of a relapse because when you are depressed you don’t have the energy to be around people and make conversations and you don’t want people to notice that you are depressed so you hide yourself from the world.
3). You feel tired all the time
When you are in depression, even routine activities like getting out of bed, taking a shower or eating food can feel like a huge effort.
If you feel too tired or weak all the time to even run your daily tasks efficiently, you might be getting into depression again.
4). Loss of interest in hobbies and activities you usually enjoyed
While it is normal for our interests to fluctuate but if you lose interest in everything that you used to enjoy earlier and nothing seems to excite you anymore, it can be huge red flag that you are getting into depressive phase again.
5). You sleep a lot
When you are depressed, you don’t want to face the world. You just spend most of your time in sleeping or you just lay awake in your bed for hours. You just find it very difficult to get out of your bed in the morning and your whole routine and daily tasks go for a toss.
You just feel numb and confused and you can’t get your priorities right or gather any energy to work on your priorities.
6). Aches and pains in your body
Our minds and bodies are connected. If you are not paying enough attention to your emotions or feelings and that something is amiss, then they will grab your attention by manifesting in form of various pains and aches in your body.
If you are feeling constant headaches, stomach aches or pain in other parts of the body that are not caused due to any illness, it could be a sign that you are relapsing into depression.
7). You stop taking care of your self
When you are depressed, you feel so drained that you can’t even gather the energy to do simple tasks for keeping your personal hygiene. Even tasks like brushing or taking a shower can feel like a huge effort.
You could be a very organized person but when depression hits you, you can’t seem to keep up with simple errands like doing the dirty dishes.
If you are feeling that you have stopped taking care of your health and personal hygiene, it is a huge red flag that you might be slipping into depression.
8). Sudden fluctuations in your weight
Sudden change in your appetite or weight can be assign of depression. People with depression tend to operate in extremes; they either eat too little or do a lot of binge eating.