What is Depression?
By: Corrina Levine, AMFT
Approximately 16 million Americans are diagnosed with various levels of Major Depressive Disorder each year (Anxiety and Depression Association of America, 2018).
Due to this high number of those with depression around us, it is extremely important to be checking in on ourselves and our loved ones and our TRUE feelings. We are conditioned in this society to say “I’m fine,” when we are not always fine. Dig deeper into those “fine” masked responses and find out what people are truly feeling underneath.
Questions to ask yourself and loved ones to check in with your depression levels and see how you’re doing:
- Have you been eating and sleeping more or less than usual?
- Have you been staying in contact with friends and family to maintain a support network?
- Have you been balancing your workload or is it overwhelming?
- Have you been obsessing over topics without solution?
- Are you feeling hopeful about your life and future?
- Are you feeling shame, guilt, or worthlessness?
If you are struggling with any of these categories, it will be beneficial to speak with a mental health professional in order to get your balance back and minimize symptoms of depression.
Some tricks to help with your own depression, or if you are watching loved ones struggle, are to focus on life and character strengths, participating in self-care and activities you love, expressing your emotions to friends or a journal, breaking down tasks into smaller obtainable goals, not being afraid to ask for help when needed, and implement proper nutrition and sleep patterns!