7 Warning Signs Of Depression That You Need To Know

Depression is more than just a low mood. It is a global mental health issue which requires immediate medical notice.

Are you wondering what signs of depression look like?

Are you feeling not yourself and wondering if you are depressed?

Below a list of 7 warning signs of depression that are important for you to know right now!

The earlier you diagnose depression, the easier it is to treat.

1. Hopelessness.

Are you struggling with feelings of hopelessness?

When you think about the future are you filled with dread because your future looks so bleak?

When we are depressed, looking to the future in a positive way is literally impossible. When we are depressed it’s hard to imagine that we will ever feel any differently than we do right now so the idea that the future might be bright is impossible to imagine.

It’s important that we recognize that hopelessness is one of the signs of depression because hopelessness is one of most insidious signs of depression because it can lead to thoughts of suicide.

So, understand that your hopelessness is in your head because of your depression and that seeking help is the best thing you can do to manage it.

 

2. Changes in sleeping patterns.

Are you having trouble sleeping? Are you sleeping way more than you used to?

Changes in sleeping patterns is one of the major signs of depression. We sleep less because we often lie awake with thoughts of hopelessness and dread keeping us up.

On the other hand, we sleep more because our body feels heavy and our mind is tired and sleep is the ultimate escape, if only for a bit.

If your sleep patterns have changed, recognize that it is one of the signs of depression and seek treatment.

 

3. Lack of interest.

Are the things that have always made you happy things that you now find unthinkable to do?

I know when I get depressed doing things that I have always loved to do, like hiking or reading or life coaching, are almost impossible. Instead, I lay around and watch TV and shut myself off from the things that make me happy.

And lying around watching TV actually sinks me into a deeper depression then I had before. Ironic, no?

So, if you are struggling to do the things that you love, you might be suffering from depression and it’s time to seek help.

 

4. Listlessness.

One of the easiest signs of depression to notice is a distinct listlessness.

Do you have less energy than you used to? Does getting off the couch or out of bed seem simply impossible?

I always say that my depression is a 100 lb gorilla on my back, one who comes along with me doing my everyday day tasks but who makes doing them way more difficult because of it’s weight

So, if you are struggling more than before with having the energy to live your life, you might be depressed and, again, seeking help would be a good idea.

5 Things To Do If You Feel Depressed Even When Nothing’s Wrong

5 Things To Do If You Feel Depressed Even When Nothing's Wrong

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.

6 Painful Truths Depressed People Won’t EVER Talk About

6 Painful Truths Depressed People Won’t EVER Talk About

Where was depression until the 2000s? Hidden, unacknowledged, mostly not talked about, perhaps in the hope that it’ll all go away by itself. There are some truths depressed people won’t reveal so easily.

Globally, more than 300 million people of all ages suffer from depression, an increase of more than 18% between 2005 and 2015. (1)

Depression is the leading cause of disability and is projected to become the second highest burden of disease (measured in disability-adjusted life years) by 2020, but only a few studies have examined changes over time in the occurrence of depression. (2)

The only catch is that if you’re someone who has had depression in the past, you know well that it frequently leads to self-destruction.

As someone who has been mildly depressed for large parts of her own life, it has been a journey to hear friends talk about their experiences around the condition and to process other ways to live my own life.

Depression is often insidious in nature, a slow killer.

Almost 1 million lives are lost yearly due to suicide, which translates to 3000 suicide deaths every day. For every person who completes a suicide, 20 or more may attempt to end his or her life (WHO, 2012). (3)

Even though all stories do not have the same fatal end but all of them are equally disturbing.

Depression is a common mental disorder with a very high prevalence rate, commonly characterized by:

  • depressed mood
  • loss of interest or pleasure
  • decreased energy
  • feelings of guilt or low self-worth
  • disturbed sleep or appetite
  • poor concentration.

Moreover, depression often comes with symptoms of anxiety. These problems can become chronic or recurrent and lead to substantial impairments in an individual’s ability to take care of his or her everyday responsibilities. (4)

This is 2019, and more than ever, mental health awareness has picked up in scope. Even then, to hear about depression from a depressed person is infrequent. Even if they have the support from friends and family, even if they are aware of their own state, the stigma around mental health is still persistent.

Depression doesn’t always show on the surface. But the struggle within is excruciating.

The following are a few thoughts that depressed people will abstain from revealing to others:

1. “I wish I could do something about my own depression”

It’s a well-known fact that people take life for granted, take certain circumstances for granted. They may well have the feeling that they have complete power over what is happening to them. This attitude is then projected on to a depressed person, telling them “You perhaps brought this about.” But hey, stop right there.

Depression is not a choice.

There is a great deal of discomfort attached to waking up in the morning, feeling all drained, demotivated and wondering if life really had any purpose or that the lingering emptiness won’t ever go.

When a person with depression see how difficult their condition is being for people around them, all they believe is, “I am the root cause of all the problems in my close people’s life.” and tell themselves, “I wish I could do something about my own depression.”

In contrast all they feel is helpless – about themselves and about their condition. They believe nobody, not even their own self can pull them out of the engulfing darkness.

 

2. “I feel shame that I am not and can’t feel like the rest”

Depression of any kind is a constant reminder that life has come to a standstill just for one reason, while the rest of the world continues to function normally.

Ever wondered what the underlying emotion might be, unprocessed and unacknowledged?

A person with depression often feel guilt across situations- guilt for not being able to take one’s own responsibilities, meet others’ expectations, feel motivated, perform daily activities like before.

Depression, no matter what the cause, can make people feel utterly inadequate and insufficient.

 

3. “I can’t open up because I am afraid I’ll be misunderstood”

To sympathize with someone’s feelings and situation is entirely different from empathizing with the other person’s feelings.

What a person with depression requires is constant empathy from their support system. One of the fundamentals of a good communication is sound listening capacity, which most people lack.

I’ve often wondered what it is that makes communication between two people really difficult. When one of them has depression, there’s a higher possibility that this fear may be more. Why?

There are multiple reasons for it.

  1. The person who is in the grip of depression may find it impossible to explain where they are coming from. They may not be able to rationalize the what, where, how and why of their condition. Given how much of the world functions based on reasoning, this can be a dead end.
  2. They are mostly petrified with the feelings of being an unwanted burden on their family members and their close people.
  3. The fear is rooted in how the other person might perceive them and their condition, of whether their attempts to explain their condition will be futile or not. The conversation with the people they try to explain too may go into loops, pushing the depressed person into further feelings of helplessness about having to explain their state, without much success.

 

4. “I am afraid to open up because I’ll feel unheard”

As I write this, I realise that this has been my truth more than once.

The Strange Link Between Vegetarianism and Depression

The Strange Link Between Vegetarianism and Depression

Is Vegetarianism causing Depression in vegans?

I have a lot of vegetarian friends and most of them are happy. For example, my colleague Mickey is a bundle of energy and laughs a lot. It’s always fun to argue over beers with my exercise physiologist pal David about whether vegetarians live longer than meat-eaters. And working with my former graduate student Shelly was a hoot when we were combing back issues of the tabloid press for stories about human-animal interactions. (See, for example, “Heavy Metal Music Turns Poodle Into Vicious Killer.”)

Thus, I was surprised to learn from a new review article by Daniel Rosenfeld of Cornell University in the journal Appetite that reported vegetarians are more likely to be depressed than meat-eaters. Intrigued, I took a deeper look at this body of research. I located 11 peer-reviewed papers on the topic published between 2007 and 2018. Rosenfeld was right.

Here’s what I found in each of them:

Research Linking Vegetarianism and Depression

  • longitudinal study of 14,247 young women found that 30 percent of vegetarians and semi-vegetarians had experienced depression in the previous 12 months, compared to 20 percent of non-vegetarian women. (Baines, 2007)

 

  • Researchers examined mental health issues among a representative sample of 4,116 Germans including vegetarians, predominantly vegetarians, and non-vegetarians. The subjects were matched on demographic and socioeconomic variables. More vegetarians than meat eaters suffered from depressive disorders in the previous month, the previous year, and over their lifetimes. (Here is the full text.)

 

  • In a British study, 9,668 men who were partners of pregnant women took the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale. Seven percent of the vegetarians obtained scores indicating severe depression compared to four percent of non-vegetarians.

 

  • In a 2018 study of 90,000 adults, French researchers examined the impact of giving up various food groups on depressive symptoms among meat eaters, vegans, true vegetarians, and vegetarians who ate fish. The incidence of depression increased with each food group that was given up. People who had given up at least three of four animal-related food groups (red meat, poultry, fish, and dairy) were at nearly two-and-a-half times greater risk to suffer from depression.

 

  • Investigators from the College of William and Mary examined depression among 6,422 college students. Vegetarian and semi-vegetarian students scored significantly higher than the omnivores on the Center for Epidemiologic Depression Scale.     

 

  • In 2014, Austrian researchers published an elegant study of individuals who varied in their diets—330 vegetarians, 330 people who consumed a lot of meat, 330 omnivores who ate less meat, and 330 people who consumed a little meat but ate mostly fruits and veggies. The subjects were carefully matched for sex, age, and socio-economic status. The vegetarians were about twice as likely as the other groups to suffer from a mental illness such as anxiety and depression. (Here is the full text of the paper.)

 

  • A study of 140 women found that the odds of depression were twice as great in women consuming less than the recommended intake of meat per week. (The researchers also found that women eating more than recommended amount were also likely to be depressed.)

 

  • An article published in the journal Neuropsychobiolgy reported that the frequency of Seasonal Affective Disorder was four times higher among Finnish vegetarians and three times higher in Dutch vegetarians than in meat eaters.

 

Contrary Results

The eight studies above, which involved a total of 131,125 subjects, found that vegetarians are more likely than meat eaters to suffer from depression. However, I also located three studies involving 1,244 subjects that came to different a conclusion.

  •  A 2012 study published in the journal Appetite examined the mental health of 486 vegans, vegetarians, semi-vegetarian, and non-vegetarians. These researchers found no meaningful differences in depression scores between the groups. (Here is the full text.)

 

  • Researchers from Benedictine University reported that, among 620 subjects recruited from diet-related social networks, there were no differences in depression scores among vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores. The meat-eaters did, however, have higher anxiety and stress scores than the vegetarians and vegans. (Here is the full text.)

 

  • In a 2010 study published in Nutrition Journal, Arizona State University investigators found that Seventh Day Adventists who were vegetarians had lower depression, anxiety, and stress scores than meat-eating Adventists. (Here is the full text.)

 

The Problem with “Link-Think”

You have to be careful about link-think. Take the link between animal cruelty and human-directed violence.

How To Stop Feeling Depressed At Night: 7 Tips That Really Work

How To Stop Feeling Depressed At Night 7 Tips That Really Work

Are you struggling with depression and wondering how to stop feeling depressed at night?

Depression is horrible and, for some reason, it seems to get worse at night. There is something about the sun going down and the silence settling in that makes our depression seem more profound. How exciting is it that daylight savings time is here and the nights are getting shorter!

I have lived with depression for years and have some tips to share with you today that will definitely help you manage your nighttime depression.

For me, there are two separate times of the night that need to be managed: the evening hours before bed and then the time during the night when I wake up. I have tips for both times of the night because they are a little bit different to deal with, I believe.

What to do in the evening, before bed:

#1 – Keep your mind busy.

An important part of how to stop feeling depressed at night is to keep your mind busy during the evening hours.

The thing about nighttime is that we often don’t have enough to do so our brains, instead of being productive, go down the path towards all the things that are wrong in our life which then leads to, and deepens, our depression. It’s important to stop your thoughts from going down that path before they even start.

Things like reading, watching your favorite show on Netflix and talking or texting with a friend are all things that will keep your mind busy during the night and away from all of the negative self-talk.

I would definite encourage you to stay off social media if you are feeling depressed. Sometimes social media makes you feel more connected to the world, but, more often than not, social media can make you feel isolated and less than. So, text away with a friend but spending hours on SnapChat or Instagram will not serve you well.

 

#2 – Do things that comfort you.

An important part of managing how to stop feeling depressed at night is to do things that comfort you.

For me, a cup of tea and a hot bath go a long way towards making me feel loved and comforted. I also have a weighted blanketthat I curl up under when I watch TV. Something about the weight on your body has been clinically proven to make a big difference with people who are struggling with depression and anxiety.

What are things that would comfort you at night? Take stock of those things now, by the light of day, so you can have them at the ready.

Ice cream and sugar are things many people turn to but I would encourage you to stay away from those things at night because they could interfere with your sleep. If you must have sugar, the earlier in the evening the better.

 

#3 – Journal.

If you find that you have not been able to stop those negative thoughts in their tracks, a good thing to do if you’re feeling depressed at night is to journal.

There’s something about getting those negative thoughts out of your head and onto paper that makes them easier to manage. Sometimes when we see our thoughts written out on paper they become less powerful because we can see them more clearly.

If you don’t have an official journal, that’s okay. You can just get a notebook and write things down or, if you want to, you can use your computer. I find that using a pen and paper is the most effective for me.

 

#4 – Know that the morning will come.

An important part of how to stop feeling depressed at night is to keep in mind that, no matter what, the morning and the sunshine will come.

Sometimes, that nighttime depression makes us think that we will never get through the night, that we will never see the light of day. That our depression will overwhelm us and the night will never end.

But night has never not turned to day. And with day, comes work and friends and activities and sunshine. Even if it continues, depression can seem not so heavy during the light of day.

What To Do When You’re Feeling Depressed, Isolated And Lost

What To Do When You're Feeling Depressed, Isolated And Lost

Has your life gotten to that place where you are feeling depressed, isolated and lost all the time?

Are you feeling hopeless, alone and full of dread and worried about what the future will hold?

If you are, I am so sorry. Being depressed and feeling alone is a horrible place to be!

Fortunately, there are things you can do to stop feeling depressed, isolated and lost all the time.

#1 – Figure out the why.

There are two kinds of depression, situational and chemical. They have similar symptoms but different causes. Knowing what kind of depression you have is the first step to dealing with it.

Situational depression is caused by something that happens in your life. When something big happens that makes you sad, like the death of a parent or a divorce or the loss of a job, you can become situationally depressed. This kind of depression usually has a beginning, caused by a specific event, and an end, and is often treated differently from chemical depression.

Chemical depression is the result your brain chemistry being off in such a way that leads to depression. You are most often born with chemical depression but it can also by caused by a traumatic life event.

Chemical depression can happen to you even if your life is going great.

So, ask yourself some questions about what your life looks like these days to help you figure out what kind of depression you might have.

If you think you have situational depression, read on. If you think you have chemical depression here is an article for you to read to learn more about next steps.

 

#2 – Do what makes you feel good.

When we are feeling depressed, isolated and lost, our inclination is to collapse into our life. We stay in bed, we don’t shower or eat well and cut off contact with those we love.

Let me tell you: if you are feeling depressed, collapsing is absolutely the worst thing that you can do. Instead, it is important to do things that make you feel good.

For me, I keep a list of things to do when I am feeling depressed. 1. Take a long, hard walk (the endorphins are great for my depression). 2. Do yoga. 3. Watch The Walking Dead. 4. Take a bath. 5. Go to the movies. 6. Have sex. 7. Eat Pad Thai. When I am depressed I do one, or all, of those things and my depression is often lifted.

So, what makes you happy? Write out a list, when you aren’t depressed, of what makes you happy so that when you are depressed you are ready.

 

#3 – Occupy your mind.

Unfortunately, when we are feeling depressed, isolated and lost, our worst enemy is that brain of ours.

While we are lying on the couch feeling sorry for ourselves, our brain is actively buying into it all.

You are a loser, it says. You have no friends. You aren’t good at anything. You will never find love.  You suck at your job. And on and on.

And, chances are, that none of those things are true. That you are not a loser, you have plenty of friends, you are talented, love is out there and your boss thinks you are doing great. But your brain, when you are depressed, just doesn’t go there.

It is really important, when you are feeling depressed and isolated, to keep your brain busy.  Yoga is a really good way to do this – you are so busy trying to figure out the damn pose that you don’t have a chance to think about anything. It also has the side benefit of toning your body and making you feel strong, which can be helpful.

Other options for keeping your mind quiet are: reading, going to a movie, hanging out with friends, working. Meditation is also an option but I just get more depressed when I try, and fail, to meditate. If you can do it, go for it!

What do you like to do that will help you quiet that mind of yours, the mind that is feeding into those feelings that are bringing you down? Figure it out and do it!