If you or a loved one has suffered from depression, you know what that looks like. Fatigue, easily angered, uninterested in activities, excessive or little appetite, not wanting to even get out of bed, isolating. These are classic signs and symptoms of depression.
But what if you just need a “day off”? Are there days when it’s ok to stay in bed, or at home in your pajamas? What if you’re someone who prefers to be alone, as opposed to being with others? How do you know if it’s depression, or just personal preference?
One factor is time. It is normal to have days when you are not at your best. It is normal to have fluctuating moods (some days better than others). But when days turn into weeks, or months, that is not normal. That is depression.
A second factor is how well are you managing the demands of your life. Are you accomplishing daily tasks? Are you managing at work, or keeping things running at home? If you work from home, getting dressed and showering daily may not be important. But again, if you go multiple days without changing clothes or showering that is likely depression.
Thirdly, there are biological contributors that should be addressed before treatment for depression is sought. Most often, problems like low thyroid, or hormonal changes seen in adolescence and later life can cause these changes in mood or depressive feelings.
So, what is normal vs. depression? Try this exercise. Take an inventory of the following areas of your life.
- Are you getting adequate, but not excessive sleep? Most people need 7-8 hours nightly.
- Are you interacting with others? Whether you are outgoing or introverted, everyone needs some social contact or support. Do you have “casual contacts”, such as postal workers, cashiers, even people at work? Do you have some close friends and family that you can count on? If you can answer yes, the quantity is less important.
- Are you eating an adequate healthy diet?
- Do you have a sense of purpose in your life? Work often provides that for many. Family connections can give you a sense of this as well.
- Physical activity. Are you moving your body during the day? Not spending hours on the couch in front of the tv?
- Spirituality. If you don’t belong to a house of worship, do you participate in home activities, such as prayer or meditation? Do you feel a connection with something bigger than yourself?
If you are struggling for more than a day or two, and recognize your life is lacking in any of these areas, call the professionals at Ketamine Wellness Centers. We can assist you in figuring out if you are suffering from depression, and help design a treatment approach to combat the difficulties. Call us today! A better “me” without depression is available.
Dr. Ellen Diamond is the Clinical Psychologist for Ketamine Wellness Centers.