(a.k.a. sad, numb, hopeless, everything sucks)
Clues that you may be depressed are when you*:
Feel sad, hopeless, guilty, numb, low-energy
Don’t care about anything
Can’t enjoy the things you usually do
Cry a lot, act irritable or agitated
Experience noticeable changes in your appetite/weight/sleep
Want to be alone, avoid being with other people
Think about dying, not wanting to live, or killing yourself**
Depression is a tricky beast. It can be brought on by something bad happening, or it can just show up. And it can sneak up on you, and all of sudden you realize that everything seems… ulgh.
Each person’s “ulgh” is different. Fill in the blank: everything seems… pointless, awful, annoying, sad, sucky, hopeless, not worth the effort.
Whatever it is, it saps your energy, drags down your mood, and makes you want to crawl into a hole. It’s hard to picture feeling any other way. In your lowest moments, you may think about death or suicide, or at least about not going on. Ok, take a breath.
Your depression isn’t you.
It’s a feeling, an experience, and a struggle. And you can do something about it.
We learn more about depression all the time, and there are many ways to relieve it. In therapy, we can put short-term strategies to work easing the painful feelings (or the numbness). And at the same time, we can start to decode your version of depression.
Where does it come from? What triggers it? What’s happening when it eases? What drives it? Understanding your depression better helps us create a map and find a way out.
** If you are having thoughts of harming or killing yourself, get some help right now. Call 911, or one of the numbers below, or go to the nearest emergency room.
National Suicide Prevention Hotline: (800) 273-TALK
Rockland County Behavioral Health Response Team: (845) 517-0400
Veterans’ dedicated line: (800) 273-TALK (then press 1)
LGBTQ Youth (The Trevor Project): (866) 488-7386
* These common signs can help you recognize your experience, but they’re not meant for diagnosis. People experience different combinations of symptoms, so you probably won’t relate to all of the ones listed.