“Cheer up! Get happy! Look at the positive side of things! Turn that frown upside down!” Sure, it’s easy for some people – those who were gifted upon birth with the happy-go-lucky way of looking at things. Good for them. For others, it’s not so easy. And for those with depression, it can make it even worse when those “happy people” try and tell them to get over it and lighten up. People with depression just can’t do that. If your arm is broken…can you just stop having a broken arm?
We’ve all been depressed or sad at some point in our lives. For many of us, it’s just a short-term emotion that passes with circumstance. But being depressed and having clinical depression are two completely different scenarios
Here are 4 signs and symptoms of clinical depression for those who can’t “shake it off” like others can:
1. Sadness That Won’t Go Away
Feeling constantly sad day after day shouldn’t be the norm for anyone. Someone who feels sad from the moment they wake up to the moment they go to bed is living in a state of suffering. This sadness might be surrounding a thought pattern, subject, or theme in someone’s daily life, or it might unfortunately just be a lingering “funk” that can’t be articulated by the person who’s experiencing it.
2. Low Energy or Motivation
This person is not lazy. They just don’t have that spark within them to move forward with confidence throughout their day. It can sometimes feel like wading through a pool of peanut butter. Sometimes it’s so bad, they just want to stay in bed all day. Unfortunately, when someone has expressive symptoms of this nature from depression and leave it untreated, it can affect their job and relationships negatively. It can lead to a downward spiral in their life.
3. “Brain Fog” or Trouble Concentrating
This ties into the low energy part a bit. When someone feels drained from depression, they aren’t necessarily thinking clearly. And it can be a struggle to do so. They might struggle with constantly making mistakes, struggle with being creative, or even with something basic like speech. When someone has trouble concentrating, it can be difficult to articulate basic ideas or feelings.
4. Anger or Agitation
Let’s face it. When someone is dealing with depression, they’re not going to be in the best mood. It may cause them to be short with others, appear impolite, or they may even display angry outbursts. These symptoms can cause relational issues in someone’s life when it comes to friends, close family members, or even those they work with.
5. Active or Passive Death Wish
For some, they may feel such a deep level of hopelessness that they don’t want to live. This isn’t to say they’re downright suicidal. Maybe they just don’t want to face their day and feel like they would be better off dead. On the other end of the spectrum, some people have serious suicidal thoughts and their condition needs to be addressed immediately. If someone is actively planning to commit suicide, then they need immediate help and that should neverbe overlooked.
Side note: If you or someone you know is having active suicidal thoughts, please call the national suicide prevention lifeline right away.
True clinical depression isn’t typically a problem that goes away on its own. Although environmental factors can trigger a depressive episode for someone, it’s the underlying condition that needs to be addressed. Often, treatment is required to help get someone in a better and more functional place.
Treatment options such as medication, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), intensive outpatient treatment, or even residential or hospitalization are all viable options…depending on the severity of one’s condition.
If you’re currently dealing with depression that you just can’t shake, contact us today and we’ll make sure you receive a thorough evaluation for clinical depression. Our LGBTQ+ focused program helps those within the gay community receive help in a safe and familiar place by providers who are part of the community themselves. Sometimes the best way to be heard is by someone who understands.