The impact of the unprecedented pandemic on mental health needs one’s attention
The pandemic has changed the way we live our lives. In the world of social distancing, our mental health has begun to take its toll. Depression is a condition that requires attention as the person suffering would experience inexplicable bouts of sadness which may become a chronic condition in the long run.
Depression is a result of chemical imbalance of neuro-transmitters in the brain. Some people experiencing depression may be unaware of it while, some aware of it may be overlooking their sufferings. It is therefore essential to keep a look out on signs of depression.
Here are 10 signs of depression that may require attention.
1. Escaping from troubling thoughts – In some cases, people suffering from depression actually feel possessed by the need to keep going until they fall exhausted. They may also feel uncomfortable with quiet moments. The need to complete one task after another, could be a way to avoid the troubling thoughts. A breakneck pace is actually another form of avoidance that can be unhealthy in the long run, because those thoughts will catch up with you eventually. It’s better to get some help in dealing with the uncomfortable feelings rather than do any activity to excess.
2. Need for a perfect everything – There is a lot of pressure to do well in life, from a high paying job to spending life with the perfect partner as though the world expects perfection from you. But that’s not the reality of life. The conflict between what we feel like we should achieve and what’s really happening can be legitimately painful. But you need to be able to give yourself and others a break, and understand that no one really has it all. No matter what their social media page looks like. If you consistently take life’s inevitable failures as a sign of your deep unworthiness, it might help to get an assessment for depression.
3. Perpetual Sadness – Long-term sadness, even at a low level, that is not tied to any particular event or situation is a sign you should not ignore. It is pretty normal to have this experience every so often, but it should be a fleeting sombre mood, not a way of life. If you are expending a lot of energy keeping up a positive mask at work or with your family, only to be overwhelmed with a sense of hopelessness as soon as you’re alone, consider that depression may be the cause.
4. Excessive use of coping mechanism – Coping strategies can be very useful, especially if you are able to establish ones that are healthy, such as exercise, gardening, or reading. But if you notice a persistent increase in your need to rely on something external to distract you from life, that could be a warning sign of depression.
5. Guilt and worry – The best thing we can do is to make amends with the past and move forward. Sometimes, thinking about what you did in the past may make you feel horrible, you need to forgive yourself and let go of it. If you are obsessing over everything you ever did, and feeling as guilty about it now, that’s not healthy. Similarly, if you can’t stop worrying about what will happen in the future and are going to great lengths to maintain the illusion of control, you may have high-functioning depression.
6. Misreading social cues – Sometimes we may not notice when things have gotten excessively dark inside our own heads. Our world view can become skewed by depression, which makes it difficult to accurately assess what our friends, family, or loved ones intend by their words and actions. If you are feeling slighted by your loved ones more often, don’t get jokes that are enjoyed by everyone else, or feel lonely even in a crowd, you may be looking at the world through the eyes of depression.
7. Excessive irritability – Do relatively minor irritations, like getting cut off in traffic or accidentally breaking a glass, feel like the end of the world? If you’re lashing out at loved ones or holding a grudge way too long, speaking with a professional can help get to the bottom of why.
8. Lack of energy – You may have high-functioning depression if you struggle to get out of bed and barely muster enough mental, emotional, and physical energy to handle the day’s daily chores. It can feel like constantly walking against the wind, that leaves you drained and weak by the time you finally fall back into bed. You may also notice that you are sleeping a lot more, either to compensate for a daily lack of energy, or because you want to avoid thinking about how difficult everything feels.
9. Constant self-doubt – Everyone has those moments where they are just not sure if they are in the right place. No one knows what will happen in the future, but we need to be able to make decisions in the present in order to develop in a positive way. If you constantly doubt yourself you may be suffering from depression.
10. Self-criticism – Negative thought patterns that are directed at yourself or others can undermine your well-being. If you entertain the idea that you are a worthless failure it can get bigger and bigger until you struggle to think positively of yourself. Healthy minds don’t ignore mistakes or missteps, but they are able to process and move past them.
Reach out to your loved ones for support if you have signs of depression. Asking for help is a sign of strength, and with the right treatment, you can get back to living a life you love.