Here’s what you need to do.
Have you recently been feeling depressed but nothing is wrong?
Do you feel like you have everything that you want in your life but still you feel like you are carrying a hundred pound weight on your back, that you have no interest in anything and that all you want to do is sleep?
I am not a doctor but I can tell you that I used to feel that way all the time. I lived with this overwhelming sense of hopelessness and dread. I tried to be a good parent but keeping my energy up was close to impossible. I tried to be a great wife but my irritability prevented that from happening. I had a great job but my performance suffered.
This went on for years. YEARS. I thought that I was managing it…and I was. Until I wasn’t.
One day, when I was 42 years old, I found myself in a closet, banging my head against the wall. I had no idea what was going on.
A friend of mine scooped me up off the floor and took me to see a psychiatrist. He diagnosed me with clinical depression. He sent me off with some medication and instructions to follow up with a therapist.
That day changed my life.
If you are feeling depressed but nothing is wrong in your life then you too could be clinically depressed. This means that you have a chemical imbalance that causes depressive symptoms without something actually being wrong.
So what do you do if you are feeling depressed but nothing is wrong? I have some suggestions:
1. Ask Yourself a Few Questions.
A good way to get a sense of whether or not you are clinically depressed is to ask yourself some questions:
- Are you living with feelings of sadness, tearfulness, emptiness or hopelessness?
- Are you more irritable than usual?
- Have you lost interest in things that used to make you happy?
- Are you not sleeping as well as you used to?
- Have your sleep patterns changed? Are you spending more time in bed?
- Have your eating patterns changed? Have you lost or gained weight?
- Are you more anxious than you used to be?
- Do you struggle with feelings of worthlessness?
- Do you have a hard time focusing?
- Do you think about committing suicide?
- Do you have new physical problems, like headaches or backaches?
If you answered “yes” to any, or all, of these questions you might be struggling with clinical depression.
2. See Your Primary Care Doctor, Immediately.
If you are feeling depressed and nothing is wrong, it is important that you reach out to your primary care doctor as soon as possible to tell her about your symptoms. Seeking medical help is key to dealing with depression.
Many primary care physicians are knowledgeable about the treatment of depression and can help you with treatment right away. Some primary care doctors might refer you to a psychiatrist who can help you diagnose and manage your depression.
Either way, see a doctor, right away.
3. Stick to Whatever Regimen the Doctor Prescribes.
This is a key part of dealing with clinical depression.
What often happens is that a doctor prescribes a medication to help someone manage their depression and then once they are feeling better they stop taking it. And what happens next? The depression comes back.
So stick to your treatment. Continue to take your meds. Just like you would if your doctor had prescribed meds to help you with a thyroid issue. Or diabetes.
4. Surround Yourself With People Who Love You.
Many people who suffer from clinical depression tend to isolate themselves from friends and family. Making the effort to spend time with people and to pretend to enjoy themselves is just too much. So they don’t.
Make an effort to get yourself out there and spend time with people who love you. Spending time with people who make you laugh, who keep you out of your head and make you feel good about yourself is very important to managing your clinical depression.
5. Don’t Be Embarrassed.
Many people who are diagnosed with clinical depression are embarrassed. Embarrassed that they can’t just “suck it up”. That they might have some kind of personal deficiency that makes them weak in the face of this perceived disease.
Let me tell you! You are not weak. You are not lacking something that others have that make it so that you can “suck it up”. You are actually incredibly brave for facing this issue head-on.
Clinical depression is a disease caused by a chemical imbalance — the same as heart disease, the same as thyroid disease. Clinical depression is perceived by many in society to be a personal weakness. I mean how can you be depressed if nothing is wrong?
Luckily, more and more people are speaking up about living with mental illness. More and more people, including many famous people, are being honest about living well with their condition and helping to eliminate the stigma of mental illness.
So, join the celebrities. Don’t be embarrassed. Clinical depression is not something that you could have prevented. But it is something that you can deal with.
If you are feeling depressed but nothing is wrong, then you may be struggling with clinical depression.
The best way to deal with it is to get yourself to see your doctor right away and then stick with the medical treatment they prescribe. Also, make sure to take care of yourself and surround yourself with people who love you.
You, like millions of other women, can have a full and happy life living with clinical depression. All you need to do is to pick up the phone and call your doctor.
Do it today!
This guest article originally appeared on YourTango.com: What It Means When You’re Feeling Depressed (But Nothing Is Actually Wrong).