After reading the last post that defined the clinical symptoms of depression, you may be left with questions and uncertainty. Many people will report to their doctors or clinicians that they have some symptoms but not many, and that their symptoms are not present daily, but have more days with symptoms than without. What this means is that you are probably in the early stages of depression. Depression is an illness that can start small and grow, especially if ignored. This is where I tell you that there is nothing to be ashamed of. Depression is not a sign of weakness and should not be repressed. One of the scariest characteristics of depression is that it causes your thoughts to lie to you.
“You are not good enough.” “You are a burden on others.” “No one will believe you.”
These lies will keep us from talking about how we feel. They will cause self-doubt and tell us that our problems are not worth sharing. Do you remember last month’s post about the comparison trap? This can be a critical mistake with depression. Comparing our problems to others will often minimize our needs or even make us feel more deficient and un-worthy of help. To this I say, “STOP!” You are you. You have needs. You have struggles. Your struggles are worthy of discussing and leading to a path of feeling better! If you are experiencing change in your routine and/or the way you feel, don’t ignore it. There is no set path for the on-set and progression of depression, so don’t wait until you feel it is out of control or that you are to the point of feeling hopelessness.