The word "depressed" gets thrown around a lot. Depression is much more than feeling sad or lethargic. Depression varies in intensity, and is something that impacts how you feel at work, home, and in your relationships.
1. You feel like you're just going through the motions
Depression can bring a feeling of apathy to daily life. We all have off days, but take a moment and reflect when the last time you felt energized, motivated, or content. If those feelings feel very far away, it may be a good time to speak to a licensed therapist about what’s going on internally.
2. You haven’t seen or spoken to your friends in ages
Boundaries are crucial for healthy relationships. It can be a good and helpful thing to take time for yourself and your personal self-care, especially during times of high stress. There is a significant difference between maintaining your boundaries for your wellness, and avoiding friends and family. Isolating yourself from your social supports can be a sign of depression. Check in with yourself about the motivation behind the boundaries you’ve been keeping. Do you feel that right now you need downtime to recharge? Or do you feel alone or that no one will understand or care about what you’re experiencing? Depression can impact the way you view yourself and others. If you think you’ve been isolating yourself from your friends, call your best friend, or send them a text saying, “I’ve been feeling alone and overwhelmed. Can we hang out soon?” Communicating your feelings to trusted friends or family can help reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation.
3. Things you used to love no longer spark any interest
Think of your favorite pastime or interest. When was the last time you made time for this activity? Or wanted to make time for it? Self-care is hugely important to our wellbeing, but often depression can make those interests and activities feel empty or pointless.
4. Your self-talk is increasingly critical and you double-guess yourself
Language plays a huge role in our relationships with others and with ourselves. Our internal messages and the language used creates our experience and our reality. Depression can distort this self-talk to be incredibly critical which can perpetuate a cycle of shame and self-loathing. This can also lead to difficulty trusting ourselves when it comes to making decisions.
5. You have had thoughts about disappearing or dying
Thoughts that you wish you could disappear or die are not something to minimize. These thoughts indicate that you are not living life the way you want to be and may feel stuck. These thoughts can be overwhelming and frightening, and you do not need to deal with this alone. (Again, for those in the back!) You do not need to deal with this alone. If you are experiencing these thoughts, talk to a trusted friend or family member. The National Suicide Hotline is also available 24/7 at 1-800-273-8255.
If you are in crisis or thinking of a plan of how to harm yourself, call 911 or go to your local emergency room immediately.