Hello Health and Lifestyle VIPs,
This is Dr. Bernadette, your friendly informative family medicine doctor, prescribing health, healing and happiness and guiding you to your passion and purpose. Everyone experiences feeling gloomy, melancholy or down––it’s normal. At times, life circumstances can be overwhelming and put you in a sad mood. But sometimes being unhappy isn’t just the blues, it is a sign of a deeper issue such as depression. Depression is an intense sadness accompanied by helplessness, hopelessness and worthlessness that lasts longer than two weeks. Don’t take it lightly, like high blood pressure and diabetes, it is a medical problem––you cannot wait it out.
8 Signs Your Sadness Is Depression:
- Sleeping too little or too much. Changes in sleep pattern can be the first clue of depression. Although you are sleeping for long hours, it is not refreshing. Also, it is disrupted with awakening multiple times causing you to be fatigue and more irritable. Sleep may be your attempt to escape from problems. On the other hand, you can find yourself too troubled to fall asleep.
- Lack of interest in activities that were pleasurable. If you rather not hangout with friends, participate in your favorite pastimes or do hobbies which normally excite you, it could be red flag that you are not just down in the dumps, but are depressed.
- A guilty conscience. Are you constantly feeling guilty about things even when they are not in your control? Being consumed by a guilty conscious is a signal that depression may be lurking. People with depression tend to get stuck in a cycle of excessive negative thoughts which weigh heavily on them and distorts their thinking.
- Low energy. If the low battery light seems to always be on in your life, perhaps you should to check to make certain you aren’t depressed––no motivation can be a tell-tale sign. The thought process is typically slower in depressed persons making it difficult to get simple day-to-day tasks done.
- Poor concentration. Are you staring at the same “thing” for hours and cannot make any progress because your thoughts are all over the place? This could be a warning sign––depression ahead. Because you are easily distractions, the ability to comprehend and remember information is affected. Poor concentration can put a burden on work, personal life and relationships leaving you to feel alienated.
- Overeating or loss of appetite. Food can be your way of numbing emotions that appear too mighty to confront. If you notice you are having a love-hate relationship with food, but you crave its comfort, it may be because you are depressed. Likewise, if you are dropping weight due to a lack of an appetite and feeling low, it also could be a cloud of depression.
- Easily agitated. When the “normal chaos” is frustrating you more than ordinary and you increasingly find yourself seconds from crying, it just might be a tipoff that you are depressed. The fatigue, perceived stress and persistently low mood which are the hallmarks of depression can be keeping you on edge.
- Suicidal thoughts. Take thoughts of hurting yourself very seriously. Do not try to decipher rather or not you are depressed. Seek professional help right away. There is nothing to be embarrassed about. With the appropriate intervention, you can regain hope and self-worth.
If you cannot shake your sad mood, it’s possible you are faced with depression. Schedule an appointment with your doctor to discuss treatment options, increase your physical activity to boost your mood, stick to your daily routine, talk with friends and family so you aren’t isolated, eat healthy especially foods high in folic acid (spinach and broccoli ) and omega-3-fatty acids (salmon and walnuts) and avoid drugs and alcohol.
An estimated 19 million Americans are living with depression. If left untreated, depression can have serious health consequences and even be life-threatening. I hope this blog has increased your awareness of this condition and helps you to be proactive in addressing depression.
Check back on Thursday for my next blog. And, share this blog again, again and again to spread the knowledge.
In Health, Healing and Happiness,
Bernadette Anderson, M.D., M.P.H. has devoted the past 20 years to developing, teaching and educating others on the principles of health and lifestyle transformation. Her approach is to provide simple tools to allow people to be champions of their own healing, health and happiness and transition to a life of purpose and passion. These are the same tools that helped her drop over 140 pounds! She is the founder of Faith Family Health, Inc., a speaker, a health expert for media, bestselling and international published author, has appeared on national commercials and featured in highly-recognized online magazines.Visit her at DrBernadetteMD.com.