Sunday, March 2, 2014

the catch-22 of depression

Everybody gets down sometimes, and at those times, it can be no big deal to "turn the frown upside down." But clinical depression is caused by a neurochemical imbalance, so you need a neurochemical remedy.  That's why meds help. According to the Mayo Clinic, you can tell when depression has become clinical if you have the following symptoms:

Clinical depression symptoms may include:
  • Depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in most activities
  • Significant weight loss or gain
  • Sleeping too much or not being able to sleep nearly every day
  • Slowed thinking or movement that others can see
  • Fatigue or low energy nearly every day
  • Feelings of worthlessness or inappropriate guilt
  • Loss of concentration or indecisiveness
  • Recurring thoughts of death or suicide
By that check list I've been experiencing the symptoms of clinical depression for a while now. Lately the clinical depression is something I can feel.  I'm not just tired or down. My energy level feels like something sucked me dry.

The natural way to counteract these kinds of symptoms is to boost endorphins - the kind of feel-good chemicals that are released when you laugh, exercise, etc.  The problem is that, for example, when you're weeping, it can be hard to find a reason to laugh and when you're hiding in bed you probably don't feel like exercising.  The depression often keeps you stuck in a downward spiral.

I find that at times like these I have to force myself to try to break the cycle. Meds definitely help, but most of the time, in addition, I have to muster the mental strength to find a way to do something that increases endorphins.  I found a great, simple article on how to boost endorphins on wikiHow -  I know how hard it can be, but if you can manage to get yourself to do even one of these activities, it can help.

I'm not giving up on getting my mood back up.  I'm not being hard on myself, because I know I'm not "doing something wrong," but at the same time I really want to crawl out of this emotional hole I'm in. I've done it before, so many times, and I know if I keep trying I will feel better.

No comments:

Post a Comment