Depression can make you feel very lonely. It is a serious illness that effects 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 do not feel they are good company for others because they are feeling so blue. 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 patters- 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. Experts agree that talking about it with the right people can help tremendously. The decision of whom to tell is very personal and yours alone.
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 that 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 own your information – It is up to you to decide how much to disclose. Not sharing every single thought does not make you a liar or a bad person. Base what you share upon with whom you are sharing, and if you think they can offer advice to make you feel better.
- The causes of depression – 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 effects you will help others understand how you feel.
- Let them know how they can help, and what would not be helpful – People that love and care for us will naturally want to help us feel better. If it would be helpful for them to help you do household chores so that you do not get overwhelmed, tell them this. For some, it may be helpful for your friend or loved one to check in daily to see how you are feeling; this may be an opportune time to share how your day is going. For others, it may be highly annoying and make him/her feel worse if someone is constantly asking how they are feeling. Decide what will be helpful and what would not be helpful, and share this with the person or people with whom you are discussing your depression.
- Treatment –There are support groups for depression and counselors/therapists that can help you through this. Let them know that you are seeking treatment, and what you are doing to help yourself. 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.
- Sharing 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 that love you and people that can help you. You do not need to suffer alone.
If you or a loved one are ready to reach out for help from addiction, contact us at (888) 989-9690.