Are you really struggling with your moods and wondering about diagnosing situational depression and have no idea where to start?
There is so much conflicting information out there about depression – what causes it, how it presents and how to treat it – that it can be overwhelming.
There are two primary kinds of depression – chemical and situational. Chemical is caused (at least in part) by a chemical disorder in the brain. Situational depression is usually brought on by a life event, like death, divorce, job loss, etc.
Doctors can easily tell the difference and will make diagnosing situational depression, or chemical depression, a fairly straightforward thing.
It is important to be clear with your doctor about what your life looks like so that he or she can diagnose and treat you properly.
Here are some questions to ask yourself that will help you have important information to share with your doctor.
1. Has anything happened?
Life can be really hard sometimes. Really hard. And we humans are extraordinarily resilient but sometimes it gets to be just too much.
Last year, my dog died, a friend killed himself, another friend tried to kill herself, my mother-in-law died, a killer round of poison ivy led to steroid-induced mania and my ex-husband betrayed me in a way that I never could have believed would happen. Needless to say, by early winter, I was a mess.
I talked to my primary care doctor because I wasn’t feeling well and she asked me about what was going on in my life. It didn’t take her long to go about diagnosing situational depression and helping me see it for myself.
Since that diagnosis, I have been taking an anti-depressant to help me manage my moods. I am not planning on taking it forever, just until my life steadies out and my moods are more manageable.
Has anything happened in your life recently? Something that might cause you to feel hopelessness and despair in a way that you haven’t before? Take an accounting of what that might be so that you can share it with your doctor.
2. Do you feel hopeless?
One of the hallmarks of depression is hopelessness.
Do you have a hard time getting up in the morning because you can’t see how the day will be anything other than miserable? Do you think about next week, or next year, and picture nothing on the horizon but more dread and despair? Does the idea of spending time with friends or family make you crawl back under the covers?
If you are feeling hopeless and believe that there will never again be joy in your life, share that with your doctor. It will go a long way towards diagnosing situational depression, if appropriate.
Trying to fight the depression that is taking over your mind? Read 8 Things You Can Do If You Want To Stop Feeling Depressed And Lonely
3. Can you live your life?
Are you able to get out of bed in the morning? Are you able to get in the shower and eat your breakfast? Are you able to get out of the house and to work? Are you able to do your work to everyone’s satisfaction? Can you go out for dinner with friends or family and enjoy yourself?
If your answer to any of those questions is no, you might be struggling with situational depression.
For many of us who live with depression, the desire to live our lives can be hard to access. The idea of doing anything other than lying on the couch fills us with such an overwhelming sense of hopelessness and dread that all we can do is stay there.
If you find that it’s difficult to live your life in any meaningful way, tell your doctor.