Houston and the surrounding areas are suffering but there may be other things that people are dealing with. Sometimes when we think of depression we think of sad, crying and huddled up on the couch individuals who show us that they are physically depressed. And while some people feel comfortable to show this around their loved ones, it is definitely not what Depression always looks like. People can wear masks and quite often, depression can look like a smiling, happy face of an individual who seems to be just fine!
That’s right, you could be talking to someone who is smiling and “happy” and not have a clue that they are fighting with depression and perhaps even other stuff like suicidal ideation, obsessive compulsive disorder or anxiety.
Did you know this is the face of depression too?
If you are that person, if you put on that face and smile and say everything is fine, I want to encourage you to let someone in to help you with your battle, you do not have to do it alone! There is support!
If you know someone who seems fine but you think they look as though they are struggling, ask again, it is that simple. I recently had a friend ask me “are you okay?” I said “Yeah I’m good” she could sense something was wrong because I had been a little distant, she simply said “really, are you okay? This was all I needed to say, “I’m having a hard day” and that made such a big difference for me.
Signs and symptoms
You may be depressed if, for more than two weeks, you’ve felt sad, down or miserable most of the time, or have lost interest or pleasure in usual activities, and have also experienced several of the signs and symptoms across at least three of the categories below.
It’s important to remember that we all experience some of these symptoms from time to time, and it may not necessarily mean you’re depressed. Equally, not everyone who is experiencing depression will have all of these symptoms.
· not going out anymore
· not getting things done at work/school
· withdrawing from close family and friends
· relying on alcohol and sedatives
· not doing usual enjoyable activities
· unable to concentrate
· lacking in confidence
· ‘I’m a failure.’
· ‘It’s my fault.’
· ‘Nothing good ever happens to me.’
· ‘I’m worthless.’
· ‘Life’s not worth living.’
· ‘People would be better off without me.’
· tired all the time
· sick and run down
· headaches and muscle pains
· churning gut
· sleep problems
· loss or change of appetite
· significant weight loss or gain
If you think that you or someone you know may be experiencing depression, completing this checklist is a quick, easy and confidential way to give you more insight. The checklist won’t provide a diagnosis – for that you’ll need to see a health professional – but it can help to guide you and provide a better understanding of how you’re feeling.