There are many articles written about what to watch out for when it comes to depression. You may have seen posts warning you to be aware of certain symptoms.
Yet, what about how to recognize when you’re actually feeling better?
This isn’t discussed as much, but it’s very important. Oftentimes, though, people are so stuck in depression that it takes a while for them to even realize that they are on the track towards recovery.
If you are going to engage in the recovery process, then it would certainly help to know when your depression is improving.
Here then are four signs that help you measure your progress.
1. You’re Doing Better at Getting Things Done
One of the big problems with depression is that, in the most severe forms, it completely takes over your life. And that makes you often incapable of balancing the balls that we all must juggle constantly in our busy lives.
- Going to bed and waking up regularly
- Dressing and preparing for work
- Maintaining your job
- Eating healthy meals
- Daily chores such as taking out the trash, cleaning your home, paying bills, etc.
However, as you continue with your recovery process, you may notice that you’re getting better at handling these things. Maybe not everything at first. But perhaps you have started to go out for a run again or are able to wake up when you’re supposed to.
Over time, these little victories add up into major successes!
2. The Symptoms of Depression Start to Improve
Along with improved productivity, you begin to notice that your depression symptoms are getting better too.
This might not be an overnight experience. Rather, over time, you may realize one day that you don’t feel as guilty as you used to. Or you begin to notice that you haven’t had one of those persistent crying episodes that you used to experience frequently.
These are good things!
Now, you might still find yourself feeling sad occasionally. But remember that everyone feels sad from time-to-time. The important thing is that the frequency of those episodes has diminished.
If you’re not sure, ask a family member or friend whose opinion you value for feedback. Ask if they have noticed anything different about you.
3. You Don’t Slip Back into Depression
This is also known as relapsing. Typically, we think of relapse in terms of addiction and substance abuse. Yet the term is also appropriate for those struggling with depression. Especially if you have been dealing with depression for a long time.
It’s not unheard of for people to fall back into depression. After all, it’s more than a feeling. Depression is a mindset that can become strongly ingrained. Or, put another way, it’s the lens through which you have viewed the world.
Making different choices and choosing a different lifestyle can be difficult at first because it’s all so different than what you are used to. However, with practice and repetition, it does get easier!
4. The Medication Is Doing What It’s Supposed to Do
A final indicator that your depression is getting better has to do with the effectiveness of your medication. You will know when the medication is working when you experience not just the signs listed previously but also fewer side effects.
Medications can have side effects and it may take some time to fine-tune the right dosage. However, when that happens you should be able to experience all the benefits that medication can offer with alleviating symptoms without having to experience any serious side effects.
Although it’s important to recognize the signs of depression, that’s not enough. Rather, it’s critical that you learn to identify when things are actually getting better. These truly are victories, whether they be big or small. Collectively, they can help you overcome depression.
To learn more, talk to a therapist who specializes in depression counseling. I invite you to contact us to find out how we can help, 256-686-9195.