Are you depressed? Are you worried about being depressed? Do you know why you’re depressed? Does that make you more depressed? Anxious? Are you losing sleep, or sleeping too much? Not eating enough or too much? Are you snapping at people? Withdrawing from them? Drinking, using, or smoking too much?
Go see a therapist. Your therapist will help you assess what might be going on. Yes, we all get depressed at times. We lose a loved one or a pet. We don’t get a job or have difficulty finding one. We get rejected by someone in whom we’re interested. Someone hurts our feelings. We worry about money. We worry about the kids. We worry about politics.
All these are normal reactions. It’s when depression keeps on giving and we don’t snap back that we should be concerned. And, if someone in your family continues to be depressed, you should be concerned for them and for your family. So, take them to a therapist.
Your therapist can help you find out whether you’re being too depressed. One can linger too long in grieving for a loved one, person or pet. One can grow up in a depressed family and think that being depressed is a normal way of being in the world; it’s not and it’s not healthy. One can have a psychiatric disorder like bipolarity where a person goes through different cycles of depression and mania. One can have PTSD from some traumatic event or series of events.
We know from clinical experience and research that one kind of depression can trigger another. We also know that sometimes different kinds of physical problems can mask as depression, such as low thyroid, which can make you have low energy.
You and your therapist can figure out what you need next. It may be a referral for antidepressants. It may be a referral for other medical tests. It may be an exercise and sleep change program. It may be more therapy, couples or family therapy, and some new activities in your life.
You don’t want to slide down into a black hole where you can’t see a way out. You don’t want to hurt your loved ones. Depression is not a way of life and you can change!