As with many others, when I was diagnosed with depression the news didn’t come as a shock. There was this constant feeling in the back of my mind — for years — that something wasn’t quite right. I compared myself and my life to those around me and noticed there was something different about me.
Little things seemed to affect me more than they did others. And when I was down, I had a harder time than most getting back to my usual self. I couldn’t shake the negative feelings no matter how hard I tried.
There were a few key ways that my condition showed itself before I had a definitive answer. Watching out for these signs may help you figure out why you’re feeling down and help you reach out to your healthcare professional sooner.
Depression can make you tired. Well, not just tired, but exhausted. I had fatigue that I just couldn’t shake. It didn’t feel like I was tired from a long day or a good workout. I was exhausted all the time, and it didn’t matter whether I got plenty of rest or not.
It’s an understatement to say I was grumpy most of the time. The smallest things would cause me so much frustration. If I went out to eat and the waitress got my order wrong, I’d be upset. I was always irritable, and it seemed to come out of nowhere. This affected my relationships as nobody wants to be around a grump.
3. Lack of interest
People with depression often experience a loss of interest in things they once enjoyed. This was true for me. I loved reading, but that fell by the wayside. I used to spend hours crocheting, but I found myself pushing that aside too. Things that used to make me happy had seemingly lost their appeal.
4. An overwhelming sense of hopelessness
When someone is depressed, often their molehills turn into mountains. Any optimism I used to have that things would work out was buried by my depression. I lacked motivation because I believed nothing would ever turn out OK. Most people will at least have a small amount of optimism driving them to reach a goal. I didn’t have that.
Many people with depression don’t necessarily feel sad, they feel numb. Unless you’ve been truly depressed, you may not know what it’s like to feel nothing at all. It’s terrifying. You start to question whether you’re ever going to feel anything again. Out of everything I’ve felt because of my depression, feeling nothing is the scariest of all.