The Fog. Feeling depressed is common. With so much happening in the world and in our own lives, it’s normal to experience feelings of sadness, hopelessness, isolation, and fatigue.
But sometimes it’s hard to know when symptoms of depression are merely contextual or signaling a mental health condition. It may be hard to tell when it’s time to seek professional treatment. Every person’s individual experience with depression and depressive episodes is unique, and there’s no right answer that can be applied to everyone. But here are some ways to listen more closely to help you find the answer you might be looking for.
- Gather the data. When living in the present with depressive episodes, it may be hard to zoom out and look at the situation from afar. Consider writing down how you feel everyday and some of the key events in your life that may have impacted your mood. You’ll create a log of moods and motivations that can help you (or professional help) further understand your feelings.
- Talk to other people. Share what you’re experiencing, and how your friends and family deal with similar issues. Although their experiences can’t diagnose your own, they could offer some helpful perspective that may make you feel less alone, and give you advice on how they’ve worked through their own journey.
- Always seek professional help. If you’re already considering that help may support your healing, you deserve to give it a shot. Therapists and licensed counselors are there not just after you’ve been diagnosed, but even just to help you through one tough day. They have academic and contextual experience that can give you the answers that you’re looking for.
Remember, if you’re currently in crisis, get help now. Text 741 741 to the Crisis Text Line to speak with a trained crisis counselor for free, 24/7, 365.