- A depressed mood during most of the day.
- Fatigue or loss of energy.
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt.
- Impaired concentration.
- Insomnia or hypersomnia (excessive sleeping).
- Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in almost all activities.
- Recurring thoughts of death or suicide.
- A sense of restlessness.
- Significant weight loss or weight gain.
HOW TO MAKE FRIENDS WITH YOUR DEPRESSION
Once I understood my tendency toward depression, I learned to live with it. When it flares up, I acknowledge it and don’t allow myself to be engulfed, paralyzed or wallow in it. Instead, I have an action plan. I’ve found that having a hobby such as drawing or painting not only soothes me but helps me express my sadness on paper. Not surprisingly, I feel much better afterwards. It’s cathartic. Another outlet for me is writing. I don’t write about how I´m feeling, but about any other subject that moves me deeply. My feelings are so deep and intense at those times that I can spend hours pouring my heart out. I realize that’s when I´m most creative.
There is an upside to depression. By understanding your natural tendencies, you become more empathetic with others. I don’t think I would be as sensitive to others if I hadn’t had my own personal experience with depression. Now, I encourage others to make friends with their illness, lose the stigma and instead of getting stuck in destructive behaviors, find a creative, healthy outlet for their feelings.
OPTIONS FOR DEALING WITH DEPRESSION
You may use some or all of the below, and while every situation is different, it’s good to know what your options are.