Can I get a raise of hands for those who would be super stoked to struggle with depression? I’m waiting…..I have yet to meet anyone who has ‘be depressed’ on their daily to do list. None of us want to feel or appear different from the norm, but the truth is (if you really think about it) is there really any norm anymore?
There are different types of depression, but we’re going to roll with clinical depression. So let’s start with, what does it look like?
- It is an ongoing feeling of sadness (present for at least two weeks)
- Lack of energy, lethargic
- Disinterest in hobbies, activities that once were of interest
- Detachment form peers, family members
- Excessive sleeping, but often a restless sleep
- Weight loss/weight gain
- Thoughts of hurting oneself or suicide
Here’s the deal, if you or someone you know suffers from depression they don’t necessarily have to meet all of the symptoms. The good news is that depression can be a part of you, but it doesn’t have to define you. In order for that to happen a few steps are in order. If you or someone you know are having thoughts of harm seeking out professional help asap is must.
What depression is and how to address and treat it …
There are steps to head in the right direction with depression (or any other form of mental health condition). Acknowledging you may be struggling with depression is a HUGE step! It’s hard to think that this isn’t something you can’t shake off. Help! No one wants to say it, but holy cow isn’t this an awesome step where clarification, direction and guidance can be provided. Counseling, when matched up with the right person, can really get the wheels turning in the right direction.
My belief is that not all counselors out there were destined to be a therapist or in the counseling field. That’s the same for any field of work. Not everyone is good at what they do for a living. No bashing, but it’s ok to use discretion and for you to feel comfortable with who you will be chatting with. There are some dynamic mental health workers, but patience is important. Just like when we go shopping for a pair of jeans, sometimes the first go isn’t the right fit. Try to give whoever you are seeing at least two sessions before crossing them off your list. Just a suggestion;)
A few ingredients…
Meds. I believe when it comes to a chemical imbalance medication can do wonders, BUT I believe that it is ensuring (via psychiatrist) that medication is indeed needed and that they are monitored. It drives me insane how quick some doctors are to dole out meds like pez candy without taking a thorough screening of their patients followed by a treatment plan. That consists of monitoring how the individual is responding to the medication, if the dosage and form of meds are appropriate. Patience is a bear, but this is SO important when it comes to medication. We are accustomed to instant mac n cheese and wireless service, but are brains are neither of these. For medication to work it takes time, a solid four to six weeks (depending on what meds are prescribed).
These issues are not something that can be casually brushed off or something you can close your eyes and hope will go away. It is real and it is a condition that one can live a full and amazing life with when dealt with and maintained. It can also kick your butt if delaying care and acknowledging its existence. I urge you to take that step if this is something you are struggling with or to encourage someone you care for if these symptoms apply to them.
Take that first step. Contact your insurance provider for a list of counselors in your network. Inquire to friends or relatives as to who they would recommend. Depression isn’t something to be embarrassed of and we aren’t intended to tackle life solo.
Remember, life can be beautiful even with all the bumps, scratches and craziness along the way. Wishing you a wonderful day.
Peace, love and goodness!