You Find It Hard To Concentrate Get Things Done Or Take Care Of Yourself
Often those suffering from depression describe it as a weight on top of them, suffocating them, making it impossible to get out of bed or take care of their basic needs, says Heinemann. They feel drowned by depression.
This can feel like being really low on energy.
Some people find it difficult to do things like showering or brushing their teeth, she says.
Others struggle with simple chores or concentrating at work. Even making decisions can feel difficult if you have depression.
Depression tends to hijack our brain, so the strategies we usually use or rely on arent helpful because our brains are lying to us, explains Meier. We are seeing the world through poop-covered glasses.
Major Depressive Disorder And The Irony Of Its Destruction
The great irony of MDD is that it destroys your ability to seek the help you need.
This is why we see so many people turn to suicide attempts, even suicide attempts that are cries for help, instead of seeking help. Seeking help is a major burden, a process we cant even begin.
The very thing that might help us is the very thing that seems an impossible barrier. Its so much work to just pick up the phone and try to get an appointment.
Then there are more barriers, each one more than sufficient to stop the entire process. We often need the help of friends and family to take us from one barrier to the next.
Is It Depression Or Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression, involves serious shifts in moods, energy, thinking, and behavior. Because it looks so similar to depression when in the low phase, it is often overlooked and misdiagnosed. This can be a serious problem as taking antidepressants for bipolar disorder can actually make the condition worse.
If youve ever gone through phases where you experienced excessive feelings of euphoria, a decreased need for sleep, racing thoughts, and impulsive behavior, consider getting evaluated for bipolar disorder.
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Postpartum And Perinatal Depression
One treatment one-of-a-kind to SAD is called light therapy, which provides an antidepressant device by exposing the retina to light. Nitschke recommends those battling with SAD to obtain a pleased light of 10,000 lux, which is quickly accessible, as well as begin turning it on for a minimum of 30 minutes a day as early as September. Efficient methods of treating SAD arent very different from treating clinical depression, Nitschke stated. Among the best what does severe depression feel like ways to fight SAD as well as various other kinds of depression is exercise and also physical activity, but these may be tough to initiate as a result of lack of inspiration and also the chilly temperatures in the winter months. Nitschke deals with his patients to create an exercise plan and continue with it throughout the winter season, also if that suggests adjusting to the climate.
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Different Types Of Depression
Your doctor may diagnose you with depression and say that its mild, moderate or severe depending on your symptoms and how severe they are. Or you may be diagnosed with a specific type of depression, such as:
- dysthymia mild depression that lasts for several years
- seasonal affective disorder depression that comes and goes in a seasonal pattern
- postnatal depression depression that many parents experience after having a baby. Some people experience antenatal depression during pregnancy.
How Is Depression Treated
Depression treatment typically involves medication, psychotherapy, or both. If these treatments do not reduce symptoms, brain stimulation therapy may be another treatment option. In milder cases of depression, treatment might begin with psychotherapy alone, and medication added if the individual continues to experience symptoms. For moderate or severe depression, many mental health professionals recommend a combination of medication and therapy at the start of treatment.
Choosing the right treatment plan should be based on a persons individual needs and medical situation under a providers care. It may take some trial and error to find the treatment that works best for you. You can learn more about the different types of treatment, including psychotherapy, medication, and brain stimulation therapies on the NIMHs depression webpage. For information on finding a mental health professional and questions to ask when considering therapy, visit NIMHs psychotherapies webpage.
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What Risks And Complications Can Depression Cause
Having depression can cause other problems. It can affect your mental health as well as your physical health, and it may affect other areas of your life too. For example, depression may cause:
- disturbed sleep,
- difficulties with work and your hobbies,
- difficulties keeping contact with friends and families, or
- suicidal thoughts or thoughts of self-harming.
Some people might also drink more alcohol to try and relieve depression. However, as we said in the previous section above, this can actually make depression worse.
If you have any of these problems, speak to your GP.
What Depression Can Feel Like
Understanding what depression feels like is key in recognizing whether or not you are actually clinically depressed. Many people have a certain perception of depression as being a mental health condition thats totally debilitating or paralyzing.
The truth is, depression isnt always like that. There are smaller signs that may indicate that what youre experiencing is more than just feeling down or having the blues.
What does depression feel like? Some people report the following feelings when theyre depressed:
- You suddenly have difficulty focusing or concentrating on work or school.
- You find it difficult to see the joy in life.
- You feel stuck or like theres no way out.
- You begin experiencing disruptive sleep patterns.
- You feel worthless or like a failure.
- You cant find motivation for self-care like showering, getting dressed, or brushing your hair or teeth.
- You begin having actual physical symptoms like unexplained aches or pain.
Depression can sometimes be a slow decline in functioning which is hard to recognize at first. So it is really important that we are mindful of our thoughts and feelings and get help and support if we start to have low moods.
Therapist Bisma Anwar, LMHC
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Depression Feels Like Meaninglessness
A large portion of people who are depressed dont feel anything, says Daniel Mansson, clinical psychologist and co-founder of Flow Neuroscience. Youre just flat. So, you go through life and look at things that have previously made you happy. And now, nothing. Thats super frightening. Things just pass through and you dont value or evaluate things. They just pass.
After years of working with people living with depression, Daniel conveyed that flatness as being most salient to understanding what depression feels like. For clinical psychologistHanna Silva, one of the principal sensations of depression is hopelessness or meaninglessness feelings which are quite painful.
Most things are meaningless or hopeless, she says. You feel that way even when positive things happen. For example, when your baby smiles at you, you cant feel joy.
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Mild And Moderate Depression
These are the most common types. More than simply feeling blue, the symptoms of mild depression can interfere with your daily life, robbing you of joy and motivation. Those symptoms become amplified in moderate depression and can lead to a decline in confidence and self-esteem.
Recurrent, mild depression
Dysthymia is a type of chronic low-grade depression. More days than not, you feel mildly or moderately depressed, although you may have brief periods of normal mood.
- The symptoms of dysthymia are not as strong as the symptoms of major depression, but they last a long time .
- Some people also experience major depressive episodes on top of dysthymia, a condition known as double depression.
- If you suffer from dysthymia, you may feel like youve always been depressed. Or you may think that your continuous low mood is just the way you are.
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Symptoms Of Major Depressive Disorder
There are a number of symptoms of MDD that you can find all over the internet, but Im going to share my symptoms:
- Feeling suicidal
- Feeling depressed for months on end
- Giving up on school or work
- Losing jobs and not giving a fuck
- Getting super irritable at even the tiniest things
- Wanting to sleep all day and all not
- Not being able to sleep at all
- Not wanting to fuck or do anything sexual
- Feeling guilty and ashamed of myself
- Thinking that Im worthless and that no one will ever love me
- Not getting pleasure out of things that used to give me pleasure, like video games
- Sitting around and doing nothing but watching TV all day long
- Wanting to just get drunk or get high for the few hours that I am awake
I could go on and on, but you get the point its shit. Its all shit.
The thing that makes all of this so much worse is that MDD goes on and on and on, and it takes and takes from every part of your life.
When To See A Doctor
Those who are experiencing symptoms of depression should seek medical assistance. Depression can worsen without treatment and affect a persons quality of life.
A family doctor or mental health professional will discuss treatment options to help the person manage their depression and carry on with daily life.
In severe cases, depression can lead to thoughts of suicide or physically harming oneself.
Any suicidal thoughts or statements about not wanting to live should be taken seriously. In times of crisis, a person should seek help from a hospital emergency department.
Help is also available from the National Suicide Prevention Helpline by calling 1-800-273-TALK , or visiting the Helplines website.
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When To Get Help For Depression
If youve been experiencing multiple signs or symptoms of depression and feel like its progressing or has progressed to the point that its now interfering with your life, it might be time to get help. Your doctor or a mental health professional can help you identify if what youre experiencing is truly depression. They can help you identify which, if any, form of depression you may be dealing with. They can also help you come up with a therapy or treatment plan to learn some coping skills and techniques on how to handle depression.
You Cant Just Snap Out Of Depression
Well-meaning friends or family members may try to tell someone with depression to snap out of it, just be positive, or you can be happier if you just try harder. But depression is not a sign of a persons weakness or a character flaw. The truth is that most people who experience depression need treatment to get better.
If you are a friend or family member of a woman with depression, you can offer emotional support, understanding, patience, and encouragement. But never dismiss her feelings. Encourage her to talk to her health care provider, and remind her that, with time and treatment, she can feel better.
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Antenatal And Postnatal Depression
Women are at an increased risk of depression during pregnancy and in the year following childbirth . This time frame may also be referred to as the perinatal period.
The causes of depression at this time can be complex and are often the result of a combination of factors. In the days immediately following birth, many women experience the baby blues, which is a common condition related to hormonal changes, affecting up to 80 per cent of women who have given birth.
The baby blues, or the general stress of adjusting to pregnancy or a new baby, are common experiences, but are different from depression.
Depression is longer lasting and can affect not only the mother, but her relationship with her baby, the childs development, the mothers relationship with her partner and with other members of the family.
Up to one in 10 women will experience depression during pregnancy. This increases to 16 per cent in the first three months after having a baby.
Support For People With Depression
So what does a person whose reality has shifted in this way need? Please keep in mind that I am talking about a major depressive episodesevere depression that has lasted more than two weeks. I would take a different approach for someone with milder depression, or one that is a response to a terrible loss.
For some people in a major depression, psychotropic medication works and is the only thing that works. The same could be said for electroshock treatment, though its not for everyone. Many people will emerge from major depression in time, though episodes seem to make more episodes more likely, so if medication works to end the episode, its usually prudent to take it. Nutrition, acupuncture, and other body-based treatments as well as therapy can help without the side effects of medication.
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Depression Can Be Treated
Even the most severe cases of depression can be treated. Depression is commonly treated with medication, psychotherapy , or a combination of the two.
Antidepressants are medications commonly used to treat depression. People respond differently to antidepressants, and you may need to try different medicines to find the one that works best. Researchers also are studying and developing other medications for depression, such as brexanolone for postpartum depression, and esketamine. You can learn about recent developments on these and other medications at NIMH’s Science News webpage under the topic Treatments.
There are many different types of psychotherapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy or interpersonal therapy. The particular approach a therapist uses depends on the condition being treated and the training and experience of the therapist. Therapists also may combine and adapt elements of different approaches.
Depression affects each individual differently. There is no one-size-fits-all for treatment. It may take some trial and error to find the treatment that works best. You can learn more about the different types of depression treatment, including psychotherapy, medication, and brain stimulation therapies, on the NIMHs webpage about depression. Visit the Food and Drug Administration website for the latest information on warnings, patient medication guides, and newly approved medications.
What to Consider When Looking for a Therapist
The Switch From Deep Depression To Considering Suicide
Looking back, the change that should have signaled to me that something was wrong was when I started to have passive suicidal thoughts.
Id feel disappointed when I woke up each morning, wishing I could end my pain and sleep forever.
I didnt have a suicide plan, but I just wanted my emotional pain to end. Id think about who could take care of my dog if I died and would spend hours on Google searching for different suicide methods.
A part of me thought everyone did this from time to time.
One therapy session, I confided in my therapist.
A part of me expected her to say that I was broken and she couldnt see me anymore.
Instead, she calmly asked if I had a plan, to which I responded no. I told her that unless there was a foolproof suicide method, I wouldnt risk failing.
I feared the possibility of permanent brain or physical damage more than death. I thought it was completely normal that if offered a pill that guaranteed death, I would take it.
I now understand those arent normal thoughts and that there were ways to treat my mental health issues.
Thats when she explained that I was going through a major depressive episode.
What Time Of Day Should I Use Light Treatment
Future treatment may benefit from extensive contrasts including sequential and tipped techniques to relentless depression. Consistent depression will call for a mix of antidepressant medication and also high-quality, organized psychotherapy to attain excellent lasting results. A collaborative what does severe depression feel like method including both a psychoanalyst and scientific psychologist or CBT specialist in the treatment of the same patient is vital for distribution of reliable therapy. One space forthcoming is the concurrent or sequential indicator for medication as well as psychological treatment.
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Do I Need Health Insurance To Receive This Service
The referral service is free of charge. If you have no insurance or are underinsured, we will refer you to your state office, which is responsible for state-funded treatment programs. In addition, we can often refer you to facilities that charge on a sliding fee scale or accept Medicare or Medicaid. If you have health insurance, you are encouraged to contact your insurer for a list of participating health care providers and facilities.