If you’ve been depressed before, it’s likely that you’re like me and you worry about becoming depressed again. Time and time again, you over-analyse how you feel and worry that the depression is coming back, or maybe it’s here, or maybe it never left.
This post is just as much for you as it is for me. Here’s what your pending depression feeling might actually be:
I get burnt-out easily. I do this thing where I overwork and overthink and then wonder why I get tired, upset and drained as a result. It’s called burning yourself out.
Doing too much and not taking breaks or taking care of yourself leads to fatigue and stress. When you’re drained and feeling weak, it’s natural to look at the world through a tinted lens. To feel unmotivated, sleepy, and like you just want to do nothing/can’t bring yourself to do anything.
Of course, this is often a symptom of depression but it is not actually depression. Ask yourself, are you burning yourself out too often? Are you giving yourself the care you need?
And naturally, the burnout leads to tiredness. I know that when I’m tired, even if I’ve slept well, I feel unlike myself. I’m less excitable, less willing to do things, more touchy, anxious, sad, and over-analytical. Your emotions just flip upside down and go a bit nuts.
Try to get some rest whenever you can and you’ll feel more like yourself soon enough.
When you’re ill, everything else is harder. Work, sleep, eating, hanging out, everything. So, you can also feel low, weak, and unmotivated and it can be easy to think you’re getting depressed again, but I assure you that when you’re feeling better, your mind will too.
Look after yourself, focus on the actual sickness, and tackle anything else once you’re healthier again.
We must keep reminding ourselves that it is normal and natural to feel sad at times. With happiness comes sadness; it’s just a part of life. It is possible to feel sad, even really sad for a long time, without it being depression. They are different.
If you’re feeling sad, that’s OK. Realise that it is just a natural human emotion like all the others that will pass.
I have social anxiety which means that I often get anxious on a day-to-day basis. With high levels of anxiety, it’s hard to feel in control of yourself and your life. You over-analyse and doubt yourself and beat yourself up. I get it, I do too.
Try not to let the anxiety make you think you’re falling into depression too, though. It’s OK to feel anxious at times and if you suffer from an anxiety disorder, then I hope you seek help for it in order to cope better. Either way, anxiety is unavoidable but it doesn’t have to lead to depression.
Anxiety and fear aren’t the same things, though they are linked. In times of feeling afraid of something, we can start to feel like everything is dark and scary. That we don’t want to carry on or do things. That the fear is just taking over.
This can lead to inaction, self-sabotage, and more which makes us feel low. But learning how to better handle fear and that the fear is only temporary can help you to gain perspective and avoid feeling low.
As a writer who works from home, I often feel lonely. I like alone time; I’m introverted and enjoy my own space. However, too much alone time isn’t good for us.
On weeks where I don’t leave the house as much, I can see a noticeable shift in my mood. Being locked up and all alone is a fast-track to a low mood.
But that doesn’t mean you are depressed or going to be, necessarily. It just means you need to get out more! Rejoin society and remember that there’s a world out there that will affect your mood in the best way – often almost instantly.
Believe it or not, being bored in your life seriously affects your mood. We can feel low, irritable, tired, unmotivated, and frustrated.
These feelings can feel like you’re depressed, and of course, in the long term it can lead to it, but don’t feel that just because you’re bored in your life that it’s not fixable and a sign of depression.
With some adjustments, you can get yourself back on track again. Recognise the boredom and do what needs to be done.
Doing work or being in a relationship that feels purposeless (without meaning) can cause you to feel low. If you stay on this track, it can lead to depression, but it isn’t depression just because you feel this way.
Take an honest look at your life and find where it doesn’t feel right or fulfilling, then begin making adjustments. We all need things in our lives that we find purpose from, meaning, and passion. So, include these in your life where possible.
I’ve had more than my fair share of periods of feeling lost in life. Feeling confused and unsure about yourself or your life is much harder than many think.
It’s OK to be lost; it’s perfectly normal. However, try to put things into perspective. Be fair to yourself at this time in your life. And don’t think about the depression being inevitable due to this time in your life. It won’t last, nothing ever does. You will figure things out and change your life; you are capable and worthy of it.
Symptoms of depression can show up in our lives without it actually being depression at all. The things listed here can be signs of what is actually wrong and needs addressing. There’s no need to think that depression has come for you again. You will be OK; and I will be, too.
Try not to give too much energy and worries to the “signs of depression” because otherwise, you may find things that aren’t really there. Instead, as long as you’re looking after yourself and being self-aware, you should be OK.
If you do feel like the depression has come back, though, of course, see your doctor.
If you need any help in bettering your mental health, or better coping with anxiety, depression, and stress, then my book “You’re As Mad As I Am” may be for you. Check it out here, and download a free sample to see what it’s all about.
If you want to hire me to write about mental health (or other), then don’t hesitate to get in touch!