Depression can make you feel very lonely. It is a serious illness that affects the ability to function in everyday life.
People with depression often isolate because they find no pleasure in activities that used to be pleasurable and feel like they are not good company for others. The symptoms of depression are not the same for everyone and can range from mild to severe.
If you think you may have depression, see if any of the following apply:
- Unrelenting feelings of sadness or emptiness
- Difficulty concentrating, thinking, remembering, and/or making decisions
- Changes in sleeping patterns – sleeping too much or experiencing insomnia
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Changes in eating habits – weight gain or weight loss
- Feelings of guilt
- Feeling tired all of the time
- Restlessness and irritability
- Decreased interest in activities that were once pleasurable
- Thoughts of death and/or suicide
Symptoms of depression can change from day to day. If you are experiencing any of these, it is important to talk to someone about what you are experiencing.
Because talking about depression can be as uncomfortable as the depression itself, here are some general guidelines:
- Decide whom to tell – You want to share your feelings with the person or people in your life who will be the most understanding and helpful. This can be your spouse or partner, your child or children, your parents, or very close friend/s. You might want to start the conversation with a professional therapist.
- Don’t blame – Talking about what you are going through is not the time to start a blame game. Be sure to share with the person you are talking with that the way you are feeling is not their fault.
- Use ‘I’ statements – It may be difficult for people to understand what you are going through. Using ‘I’ statements is very helpful. For example, when explaining how sad you are, you can say, “Some days I do not want to get out of bed or go out of the house,” or “Sometimes I start crying and cannot stop.” Everyone experiences depression differently, and sharing your own personal experience of how it affects you will help others understand how you feel.
- Be clear about what is and is not helpful – People who love and care for us will naturally want to help us feel better. If you need help with household chores, tell them which ones and when they can help. You might want to ask a friend or loved one to check in daily to see how you are feeling. Or, you might want people to stop checking in and asking how you’re feeling.
- Talk about treatment –There are support groups for depression and counselors/therapists that can help you through this. Let your loved one know that you are seeking treatment. This will not only help you feel better, but your loved ones will also feel better knowing that you are actively trying to help yourself.
- Share freely with your healthcare provider – This is the person with whom you need to be totally honest. Remember, what you share with your healthcare provider, whether it is your doctor or a counselor, is kept strictly confidential by law. Holding things back from this person will only impede your recovery process.
It may be difficult to come out and share about what you are going through, but remember there are people who love you and people who can help you. You do not need to suffer alone.
If you or a loved one is ready to reach out for help for addiction, contact us at (888) 989-9690.