How To Know If You Have Depression

Bad days: in most cases, they’re just a small part of an otherwise normal week. Some bad days feel like they last longer. In more severe examples, bad days seem to go on for weeks or months at a time. If your bad day keeps extending into the next day, perhaps what you are feeling isn’t sadness, but rather depression.

Depression, also known as clinical depression or major depressive disorder, is not an emotion but rather a mental health condition. Depression is when your feelings of sadness are longer-lasting, more intense, and bring on a bevy of other symptoms both emotional and physical.

If you’re reading this, you’re likely wondering where the line between sadness and depression is drawn. Continue reading to learn more about how to know if you have depression.

How To Know If You Have Depression

Different people experience the symptoms of depression very differently, but most cases will have a fair amount of warning signs in common.

Symptoms or warning signs of depression include:

  • Feeling hopeless
  • Feeling helpless
  • Lack of interest in hobbies or activities you once enjoyed
  • Changes in appetite, leading to weight loss or weight gain
  • Changes in sleep patterns, leading to sleeping too little or sleeping too much
  • Irritability and angry outbursts
  • Loss of energy
  • Fatigue
  • Feelings of guilt, self-blame, and self-loathing
  • Reckless, self-destructive behavior
  • Substance abuse
  • Difficulty thinking or staying focused
  • Unexplained aches and pains

What Causes Depression?

Depression, like other mental health conditions, is complicated to say the least. Take a more traditional illness – the common cold, for example. The cold can be traced back to a definitive cause of infection, but depression is a complex mix of biological and environmental factors.

Because of how depression is often depicted in the media and pop culture, we oftentimes view it as simply a chemical imbalance in the brain. This is only a part of the larger truth, however, as depression can also be brought on by stressful or traumatic events, hormonal changes, or certain health conditions.

Additional risk factors for the development of depression include:

  • Loneliness/social isolation
  • Relationship conflicts
  • Stress in your personal or professional lives
  • Chronic or life-threatening condition or pain
  • Family history of depression
  • Childhood abuse or trauma
  • Substance abuse
  • How to manage your depression

Treatment

Treatment can come in many forms. Some doctors will recommend more traditional treatments like antidepressant medications, but innovative new practices like ketamine infusion therapy are also showing great promise for depression treatment.

Lifestyle Changes

Depression is an incredibly isolating condition, forcing you to feel like you have the weight of the entire world on your shoulders. One of the best ways to fight back against your symptoms is to build a social support net. Support can take many shapes and sizes: friends, family, therapy, doctors, etc.

Support your physical health and your mental health may respond. Try to get around eight hours of sleep at night, eat a healthy diet, and engage in regular physical activity.

How To Cope With Depression

With depression thrown around often these days to indicate normal sadness, it is sometimes difficult to remember that depression is much more than just feeling sad – it is a real, debilitating, and isolating mental health condition.

Depression cannot be “cured” in the traditional manner of speaking, and it is certainly not something that someone can just snap out of. Fortunately, there are a number of ways a person can find relief from the symptoms of depression.

Depression treatment is often a daunting task because of its central, contradictory nature: the things that you must do to help yourself fight depression are oftentimes the hardest things to do because of how depression makes you feel.

That said, there are lots of options – ranging from baby steps to more overwhelming endeavors – that can help you find relief from your symptoms.

How To Cope With Depression

Social Support

Depression makes you feel like you have to face everything alone. It erodes any sense of perspective you have and makes tasks seem much more overwhelming than they really are. It is socially isolating and puts strain on your personal and professional relationships and responsibilities.

Perhaps the most essential step on your road to recovery is reaching out for support, whether that support comes in the form of close friends, family, a therapist, a doctor, or a support group. The main takeaway here is learning that you do not have to conquer this without help.

Take Part in Things You Enjoy

You may be thinking this sounds pretty obvious, because it is. It is not easy, however. In the midst of depression, your symptoms may make it difficult to enjoy anything. In some cases, the best thing you can do for yourself is to get out of your comfort zone for a little while.

If it becomes overwhelming, feel free to retreat back to your comfort zone temporarily. It’s not about staying out of your comfort zone,but instead gradually expanding your comfort zone until the whole world is your comfort zone.

Engaging in hobbies and social activities also reduces stress, which can strengthen your resolve against depressive symptoms.

Watch Your Physical Health

Both mental and physical health are intrinsically connected and directly feed off one another. Aim for around eight hours of sleep each night, eat healthy meals, and practice techniques like meditation or yoga to find relaxation.

Get Treatment

Seriously. There is no shame in seeking treatment for any condition, but especially depression. No one else can see the pain or suffering you experience as you do, so the only person who can decide if you need treatment or not is you.

Depression treatment is entering an optimistic new age thanks to traditional treatments and innovative new techniques like ketamine infusion therapy alike. With the right treatment, you can find relief from your symptoms. Contact us today to learn more about our treatment options.

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Three and a half years ago, on my 62nd birthday, doctors discovered a mass on my pancreas. It turned out to be Stage 3 pancreatic cancer. I was told I would be dead in four to six months. Today I am in that  rare coterie of people who have survived this long with the disease. But I did not foresee that after having dedicated myself for 40 years to a life of the law, including more than two decades as a New York State  judge, my quest for ameliorative and palliative care would lead me to marijuana. Continue reading

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Can Ketamine Help with Depression?

Ketamine is a medication mainly used for starting and maintaining anesthesia. It induces a trancelike state while providing pain relief, sedation, and memory loss. Recent studies have shown it can be effective to treat depression, anxiety, and pain. David welcomes Steven Reichbach, M.D., a strong advocate for its use in treating these disorders. Find out the real truth about this controversial treatment.

Listen to the interview here: https://www.unityonlineradio.org/david-essel-alive/can-ketamine-help-depression

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