You’ve known something has been different for a while now.
Things just don’t feel the same like they used to. You don’t have your usual level of energy and zest for life, which was such an important of who you are. Or things that you used to do are no longer exciting or interesting.
So what happened?
It might that you are struggling with depression. It would certainly explain this change. But how do you know when is the right time to seek help?
Here are some tips on when you should seek support, and how depression treatment can help.
When You Notice a Change
One indicator of when you should seek help is when you notice that something has changed and feels different. Why? Because most likely you have already been in a more depressed state of mind for a while now. You just didn’t notice it until this point.
Typically, you need to have been experiencing symptoms of depression for at least two weeks in order to be diagnosed. Take some time and think about what the last few weeks have been like. Were any of the symptoms of depression present? These include:
- Difficulty sleeping.
- Feeling hopeless or worthless.
- Changes in appetite.
- Loss of interest in what should be activities you typically enjoy doing.
Withdrawing from the World
Another sign that it may be time to get help for depression is when you withdraw from the greater world. Now, that doesn’t mean that previously you were a social butterfly! But social withdrawal is an indicator that something may not be right. For example:
- You don’t engage in social activities like you used to (going to a dinner party or meeting a friend for coffee).
- If somebody calls or texts, you don’t respond.
- When you respond, you are not very engaged in the conversation.
- It feels easier just to be alone all the time.
Again, take a moment and try to pinpoint any moments in the last few weeks when you withdrew more from others. This is especially important if they were people whom you are close to, such as friends or family members.
The Energy Just Isn’t There
Everyone’s had that feeling in which they think to themselves, “Ugh, I don’t want to do this workout today.” Or substitute “workout” for any other task. For instance:
- Going to work.
- Completing household chores.
- Running errands.
- Going to appointments. That home project that you’ve been procrastinating on.
However, people with depression often report that they just don’t have the energy to do things. They feel drained. Even doing the basics takes up a lot of energy. This happens for a couple of reasons. One is because depression soaks up a lot of mental energy. You are more focused on why you are depressed rather than the things you need or want to do.
The other is that, if you are depressed, most likely your diet and sleep have also been impacted. These are important for maintaining adequate energy levels.
If Your Safety is at Risk
Finally, if your safety is at risk, then you should definitely seek help immediately for depression. This includes if you have had suicidal thoughts or thoughts of self-harm. You don’t have to wait for a therapist appointment to get help. You can reach out to the National Suicidal Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Or, you can chat with them live via their website at suicidepreventionlifeline.org.
So, when should you seek help for depression? The answer is when you notice that something is wrong and that you don’t feel like your typical self. You don’t have to wait until there is a crisis to get help. But do know there are resources available if you are in a crisis. Otherwise, you can reach out to Luminous Counseling and Consulting to learn more about depression therapy, 256-686-9195.