As soon as graduation was over my family and I packed up our cars and drove all my things to my grandmother’s house where I spent the next six months. You see, I was heading to Ghana after graduation for a two week internship with a publishing company there and upon realizing that I actually needed to get a job, I came back to the U.S. to my part-time job at Carson’s and slumped, slowly but surely, into a depression.
Like Dean Anderson says, “Being depressed feels like the way things “really are,” not like a medical problem.”
Many people have a lot of things to say about depression, that it’s a mental trick, or if you pray enough, it will go away, but I don’t believe any of that. You see, I didn’t know I was depressed. I thought the sleeping all the time, the restlessness, the agitation and anxiety was just a normal part of myself that I’d hidden all these years. I thought my body was just recovering from late nights writing for seminar, but it wasn’t just that.
I gained at least 50 pounds in a year.
I became a recluse and sincerely unhappy with the state of my life – with no plan to remedy my situation.
All of this and I never would have called it a depression.
Yes, there were some moments when I didn’t want to get out of bed, but me – a normally outgoing person – avoided everyone I knew. It wasn’t until July of this year that I realized (with the help of relatives) what was going on with me.
So, I went to my doctor.
And as doctor’s normally do, she asked me what was wrong – and I burst into tears. I just wasn’t myself. And as doctors normally do, she offered me a prescription. I didn’t want to use prescription drugs (because of the risk of addiction). She mentioned an herbal supplement that has been proven to enhance mood – St. John’s Wort. And therapy.
I still haven’t taken her up on that therapy offer.
Recognizing the Signs Depression
You are probably dealing with clinical depression (which warrants a visit to your doctor for evaluation) if you have experienced 5 or more of the following symptoms (and at least one of them is among the first two listed), nearly every day for two weeks or more:
1. Loss of interest in things you normally enjoy
2. Feeling down, depressed, or hopeless
3. Thoughts of death or suicide
4. Feeling worthless or guilty
5. Problems falling asleep, staying asleep, waking too early or sleeping too much
6. Unexplained decrease or increase in appetite, resulting in weight gain or loss within the last month.
7. Trouble thinking, concentrating, remembering, and making decisions
8. Extreme tiredness or lack of energy that interferes with your ability to work or take care of your daily responsibilities
9. Feeling restless, unable to sit still, or abnormally slow when moving
Check out the rest of the article on the hidden signs of depression. I found it insightful. As always, if you have thoughts of harming yourself or others please call 1-800-273-8255 right now.
Have you ever been depressed? If so, how did you deal?
Adrienne Johnson is a freelance writer and editor in Indianapolis, Indiana. A graduate of DePauw University and a self-proclaimed “nerdette,” she can’t get enough of witty shows like Community and New Girl while discussing articles from her favorite blogs with friends. She laughs loudly, sings constantly, and will always have a place in her heart for the cello. Get in touch.
Like this article? Subscribe!