3 Signs of Depression and the Antidote
Depression is a common disorder in our country. Unfortunately, many of those affected do not seek treatment. Sometimes depression sneaks up on us and we don’t realize we’re depressed. These are three signs we may be depressed or depression is getting worse. Knowing the signs can help us implement changes before it becomes severe.
1. Everyday tasks feel difficult. Putting away the dishes feels like a big deal. Getting out of bed and getting dressed showered and ready for the day is a major chore. When we begin to have difficulty with tasks of daily living such as cleaning, hygiene, getting out of bed, preparing a meal, and other tasks, then it may be a signal that something isn’t right.
Antidote: Do it anyways, but start small. Set specific goal such as, 2 minutes a day dedicated to cleaning your kitchen, room or other area of the house. When our space is organized and clean, then we feel better about ourselves. When we wake up to clutter and disorganization it can feel chaotic. Develop a simple routine for daily hygiene. Stick to the schedule when you don’t feel like it.
2. The fun stuff isn’t fun anymore. Those activities we used to do for fun such as hiking, walking, knitting, kayaking, riding your bike, and other things that used to be fun, aren’t fun anymore. When depression sets in those fun things begin to feel like a chore, so we stop doing them.
Antidote: Do it anyways, and set a goal. Set aside 10 minutes per day to re-engage in a pleasurable activity, and we’ll notice a difference in our mood. If everyday is too much, then start with once a week. When we start small, we’re likely feel better and want to do more.
3. Socializing is a drag. We start isolating ourselves when we feel depressed. Sitting on the couch is easier than engaging with other people. We don’t call our friends as much, we don’t make an effort to meet new people and we stop doing things with others.
Antidote: Do it anyways with a smile. Social connectivity is an enemy of depression. Not the online social connectivity. Pick up the phone and have a conversation with someone you haven’t talked to in a while. Invite someone to coffee or lunch. Interacting with other is difficult when we feel depressed because it changes our style of interaction. We smile less, express positive emotion less and are more self-conscious. This means we focus more on ourselves than the other person. Start small, smile at others whenever you have the chance. Ask questions and show interest.
This information isn’t meant to trivialize depression, but to encourage us to take one step at a time out of our depression. Don’t try to make too many changes at once. Try one of these this week. Implement just one change this week, one next week, etc. Once we see progress, we’ll be motivated to do more.
This information is not in any way meant to diagnose or treat depression. If you’re struggling with depression, you should seek medical or mental health treatment.