You Exhibit Behaviors That May Be Associated With Pandemic Fatigue
With COVID-19 completely upending our daily lives, it can be easy to dismiss depression as a side effect of dealing with pandemic pressures. Ignoring social distancing measures, going lax on mask ordinances, or changing your punctuality habits or appearance can all be indicators that youre depressed and not just tired of the pandemic restrictions.
A lot of us are fatigued by the pandemic and how long its been, said Zamira Castro, a licensed psychologist based in Florida. Theres pandemic fatigue, and then theres carelessness or complete disregard for your well-being. That could be a slippery slope. Someone in your life whos loosening their COVID restrictions, you may wonder is this because theyre really tired and theyre trying to manage their risks and play with what they can or cant, or they dont about themselves.
What Treatment Should I Be Offered
The National Institute of Health and Care Excellence writes guidance on what treatment doctors should offer you. But your doctor does not have to give you these treatments. And the treatments may not be available in your area.
Different treatments may be available in your area. Your doctor might think these suit your symptoms more than the recommended treatments.
NICE recommend that depression is treated in different steps depending on how severe the condition is for you. The steps are as follows.
Step 1: Everyone who may have depression
Your doctor should offer you:
- an assessment of your symptoms,
- support, such as regular appointments in person or by telephone,
- information on how to deal with your symptoms,
- monitoring of your symptoms and follow-up, and
- referral for further assessment and treatment if needed.
Step 2: Mild to moderate depression
Your doctor may offer you:
- low-intensity interventions, such as self-help guided by the doctor or computerised cognitive behavioural therapy ,
- physical activity programmes,
- group cognitive behavioural therapy ,
- medication if you have a history of moderate or severe depression, or you have had symptoms for a long time, and
- referral for further assessment and treatment if needed.
Step 3: Moderate to severe depression, or mild to moderate depression when other treatments havent worked
Your doctor may suggest:
Step 4: Severe and complex depression or if your life is at risk Your doctor may suggest:
Differences Between Sadness And Depression
Another important twist is that people can feel sad, even intensely sad, without depression being involved. When people experience a loss, they usually feel sad, but dont necessarily feel depressed. Sadness and depression have similarities, but they have some important differences.
When people are sad and express their sadness, they feel better, whereas when people are depressed, crying and expressing their pain may not give them relief. Sadness doesnt involve mean thoughts about oneself, or hopeless or suicidal thoughts, but depression often does. Sadness doesnt involve distortion in perception, or loss of perspective, whereas depression usually does. Finally, sadness doesnt interfere with feeling other emotions, while depression often prevents a range of specific emotions.
In my experience, most people who are depressed have some sense that something is wrong, and if they dont, people around them usually do. It really doesnt matter whether suffering fits neatly into the DSM diagnosis for depression or not.
Its not necessary to diagnose yourself or your loved ones. If you or someone you love is suffering, get professional help to assess what is causing the suffering and what would help relieve it.
The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by GoodTherapy.org. Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.
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Signs You Could Be Depressed Without Knowing It
01 – Dec – 2020 Navarro Medical
Did you know you could be suffering from depression without feeling sad? Mental health is a concern anytime, but especially during an isolating pandemic like COVID-19. Be sure to speak with your physician right away if you have any of these warning signs.
You Experience Extended Bouts Of Stress
Some amount of stress is normal and can lead to productivity, said Catherine Muyeba, a psychiatrist based in England. However, the pervasive mental and emotional pressure can lead to chronic stress that can negatively impact ones life. It can affect concentration, disrupt sleep, reduce ability to cope with daily challenges and have a detrimental impact on health leading to high blood pressure and even heart attacks.
Muyeba also noted that theres a difference between depression and stress. Stress is often triggered by life events and often resolves when the events subside, she explained. Depression can start without an obvious trigger or link to events from the past.
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Common Causes Of Depression
Scientists do not yet know the exact cause of depression. However, many experts think that several factors play a role in its onset, including:
- Genetics: Depression can run in families. Having a close relative with the condition can raise a persons risk of developing it themselves.
- Biological and chemical differences: Physical changes or chemical imbalances in the brain may contribute to the development of depression.
- Hormones: Hormonal changes or imbalances in the body may cause or trigger depression. For example, many people experience postpartum depression after giving birth.
- Trauma or stress: Periods of high stress, traumatic events, or major life changes can trigger an episode of depression in some people.
- Personality traits: Having low self-esteem or being pessimistic, for example, may increase the risk of depression.
- Other illnesses: Having another mental or physical health condition or taking certain medications can increase the risk of depression.
People who believe that they may have hidden depression should contact a doctor or mental health professional. These professionals can help make a diagnosis and recommend a course of treatment.
Other steps to manage depression might include:
Depression: Recognizing Unusual Symptoms
One reason depression can be hard to identify is that its signs can vary widely from person to person and sometimes be masked by atypical symptoms. For example, some people who are depressed may show it by acting disgruntled, resentful, or irritable. In fact, aggression including outright acts of violence can be indicative of hidden depression, according to a February 28, 2017, report in Psychiatric Times. Depression masquerading as anger may seem surprising at first, but not when you consider that several underlying factors, including alcohol or substance abuse and childhood trauma, have been linked to both.
Similarly, although its not clear why, a person who experiences anxiety is at high risk for developing depression, and vice versa. The National Alliance on Mental Illness reports that as many as 60 percent of people with anxiety will also have symptoms of depression the same goes for people with depression having symptoms of anxiety. Experts say there is often a genetic predisposition for these co-occurring disorders.
Depression may also manifest psychosomatically, meaning that instead of presenting first and foremost as a mood disorder, the dominant symptom may be things like vague aches, dizziness, headaches, digestive problems, or back pain, according to the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. Complicating matters is that its often hard to know whether depression is causing the physical symptoms, or if the physical symptoms are causing depression.
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You Struggle To Make Decisions
Physiologically, the part of the brain that affects motivation and decision-making is shown to have gray matter loss in those with depression, says clinical psychologist Elizabeth Lombardo, Ph.D., author of Better Than Perfect. This can cause even the smallest of decisions to feel overwhelming.
Risk Factors For Depression
Depression can affect anyoneeven a person who appears to live in relatively ideal circumstances.
Several factors can play a role in depression:
- Biochemistry: Differences in certain chemicals in the brain may contribute to symptoms of depression.
- Genetics: Depression can run in families. For example, if one identical twin has depression, the other has a 70 percent chance of having the illness sometime in life.
- Personality: People with low self-esteem, who are easily overwhelmed by stress, or who are generally pessimistic appear to be more likely to experience depression.
- Environmental factors: Continuous exposure to violence, neglect, abuse or poverty may make some people more vulnerable to depression.
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Depression: What You Need To Know As You Age
If youre one of the more than 14.8 million American adults who experiences major depression, you may feel so bad that you cant get out of bed, be around the people you love or participate in activities that you usually enjoy. Actually, there are more than 50 different symptoms of major depression, ranging from the well-knowncrying and sadnessto those you might never associate with depression, such as anger, workaholism and back pain.
Depression is a disease that affects every aspect of a persons life, not just mood, says Johns Hopkins expert Andrew Angelino, M.D., Chair of Psychiatry at Howard County General Hospital. The World Health Organization predicts that by 2020, depression will be the second-leading cause of disability in the world, just behind cardiovascular disease.
People who are depressed are far more likely to have other chronic medical conditions, including cardiovascular disease, back problems, arthritis, diabetes, and high blood pressure, and to have worse outcomes. Untreated depression can even affect your immune response to some vaccines.
Depression is not just debilitating it can be deadly. An estimated one out of five people with depression will attempt suicide at some point.
The Risk Of Isolation
It can sometimes be hard to explain your thoughts and feelings to others. You might find it difficult to talk about your depression and instead you might cut yourself off from other people. The more overwhelming your symptoms, the more isolated and lonely you might become.
Without treatment and support, depression can have an impact on your relationships, work, finances and overall health, so it’s important to get help as early as possible. See our pages on treatment and support for more information.
“It feels like I’m stuck under a huge grey-black cloud. It’s dark and isolating, smothering me at every opportunity.”
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You Think About Death A Lot
Thinking about death or contemplating suicide is a definite sign you need to seek counseling, as it may be a symptom of depression. According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, “Although the majority of people who have depression do not die by suicide, having major depression does increase suicide risk compared to people without depression. It is estimated that about 60% of people who commit suicide have had a mood disorder.” Whether you think you have depression or not, it’s important to get help if you find yourself thinking about harming yourself.
Signs That Youre Suffering From Depression: 10 Big Signs We Need To Know
Depression is a common mental illness that affects more than 300 million people worldwide 20% of them women, 10% males, and 5% or more of them are adolescents.
According to the World Health Organization, it is the most prevalent cause of disability worldwide, affecting 17.6 million people annually and costing around $50 billion each year.
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Overeating And Weight Gain
Conversely, some people with depression may eat more than usual. For some individuals, food can be a comfort mechanism for negative feelings and a way to deal with boredom or loneliness.
Depression can make it difficult for people to feel motivated to get outside or exercise. Combined with an increase in food intake, this can cause weight gain.
Helping Someone Who Is Depressed
If your loved one or friend is depressed, here are some things you can do:
- Help him find a GP or a mental health professional such as MensLine Australia counsellor so he can get support.
- Offer your support and understanding.
- Talk to him and listen to what he has to say.
- Invite him out. He may say no at first, and you dont want to push him, but let him know that you are there.
- Men with depression may be at risk for suicide. If he is in a crisis, get help quickly. Call Suicide Call Back Service on or call 000.
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What Are The Different Antidepressants And How Do They Work
The most commonly prescribed antidepressants cause changes in brain chemistry that affect how neurons communicate. Exactly how this improves mood remains somewhat of a mystery, but the fact that they do often work is well-established.
- SSRIs This category of drug includes Prozac , Celexa , and Zoloft and targets serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps control mood, appetite, and sleep.
- SNRIs SNRIs include drugs like Cymbalta , Pristiq , and Effexor XR , which block the reabsorption of both serotonin and another neurotransmitter, norepinephrine.
- NDRIs This class of medications includes bupropion.
- TCAs TCAs include such drugs as Tofranil and Pamelor . These drugs were among the earliest antidepressants to come on the market. These days, doctors generally only turn to them when treatment with SSRIs, SNRIs, and NDRIs has failed.
- MAOIs MAOIs, including Nardil and , were the first antidepressants developed. Theyre rarely used today, in part because people who take them require careful monitoring to prevent negative interactions with certain foods and other medications.
All antidepressants can have side effects, but some may be more problematic than others. You may need to try several different medications, or a combination, guided by your doctor, before you find what works best for you.
How Do I Know If Im Sad Or Depressed
If youre sad because you lost your job, are going through a breakup, or lost someone in your life its certainly no fun, but its also pretty normal. Sadness, even extreme sadness, is a natural reaction to events like these. That said, regular sadness can also turn into depression. If the feelings dont get better over time, or if your mood starts to get in the way of your daily life, you might be developing a case of depression.
Physical changes can also affect your mood, like hormone changes due to puberty or certain medical treatments or conditions. If you think you might be depressed, its a good idea to have a doctor review any medications youre taking and test your thyroid and other hormone levels.
If you still arent sure why youre feeling down, or if mental illness of any kind runs in your family, theres a decent chance youre experiencing depression. If you havent already done so, consider taking our depression screen.
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Increased Fatigue And Sleep Problems
Part of the reason you might stop doing things you enjoy is because you feel very tired. Depression often comes with a lack of energy and an overwhelming feeling of fatigue, which can be among the most debilitating symptoms of depression. This could lead to excessive sleeping.
Depression is also linked with insomnia, as one might lead to the other and vice versa. They can also make each other worse. The lack of quality, restful sleep can also lead to anxiety.
Men are also less likely than women to recognize depression or seek treatment for it.
You Just Want To Sleep
Excessive sleepiness without reason is referred to as hypersomnia. If you’re out of work and stuck in the house, you may feel the need to nap out of boredom or lack of activity. A study published in BMC Medicine looked into sleep’s relationship with depression. The study concluded that “Mood symptoms are frequently reported in hypersomnia disorders of central origin.” If you have the desire to sleep all day, you may find that affects your mood, which may signify the onset of depression.
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Meditate At Your Desk
Meditation is not necessarily a time consuming exercise, but it has a wealth of benefits for your mental health. When you have limited time and you want to clear your mind, take a few minutes to meditate at your desk. Close the door and use a meditation phone app to work your way through breathing exercises that help you regain your focus.
If you cannot use an app for the meditation, then sit down and take a few calming breaths. You can focus on an object on your desk or you can close your eyes and turn your focus inward. Give yourself a few minutes to allow thoughts to move through your mind without acting on them. It is not necessary to avoid thinking instead, you want to allow your mind to let go of the thoughts until you feel relaxed and calm.