Often-times, individuals suffering from depression remain undiagnosed for years. They may report feeling stressed or unhappy while continuing to be unaware that depression is the source of their angst. The reason? They simply may not be able to recognise that their irritability, sadness or anger is actually stemming from depression. Often, depressed individuals will seek therapy, citing difficulty with interpersonal relationships, or trouble focusing at work as the presenting problem.
Many times I hear:
“I just feel so tired and overwhelmed all the time – but I don’t really know why.”
“My spouse has really been getting under my skin. Now, every little thing s/he does really bothers me.”
“I used to enjoy my life but lately, I don’t really feel like doing anything.”
“It’s so difficult for me to get out of bed in the morning.”
Depression has many faces and can manifest in different people in different ways.
Symptoms of depression can include but are not limited to:
- Sadness with or without crying spells
- Irritability and/or frustration
- Feelings of helplessness or hopelessness
- Feeling overwhelmed by even simple tasks
- Difficulty focusing or concentrating
- Insomnia or sleeping too much
- Overeating or loss of appetite
- Reduced sex drive
- Thoughts of death or suicide
Sometimes, family members, friends, or even the sufferer himself may wonder, “why can’t I just snap out of it?” or “maybe it’s all in my head.”
Know that depression is real, the result of a chemical imbalance in the brain. It is a serious condition that affects a person’s mind and body. People who are clinically depressed cannot simply will themselves to feel better or just “snap out of it.” If they do not receive appropriate treatment, their symptoms can continue for weeks, months, or years.
The good news is that there is hope and there is help. With the right treatment, you can begin to feel better in as little as 2-3 weeks.