How to Know if You May Be Struggling with Depression

Let’s face it, life can get quite challenging. As much as we wish to stay positive and hopeful, there are times when we just don’t feel this way. We struggle to get through the day and take care of ourselves. 

According to the APA, depression can be caused by someone’s body chemistry or biological predisposition. There are many reasons why someone can develop depression, and it is a very common disorder. Bad things happen in people’s lives that affect them negatively, such as a breakup or failure.

Boston University shared that 32.8% of people report being depressed. COVID has caused immense pain in all of our lives. The day-to-day problems we face have only been exacerbated by the stress of living through a pandemic.

As an act of self-love and preservation, we must be aware of our own wellbeing. When we can pick up on signs of depression, it allows us to find ways to help ourselves and get support from others. Here are some signs to look out for. 

Answer these questions to see if you relate to possible symptoms:

  • Do you ever feel worthless or hopeless?
  • Do you find yourself skipping meals or overeating?
  • Have you been staying up all night long and sleeping late into the day?
  • Does it take you a very long time to respond to text messages or call people back?
  • Have you lost interest in things that used to bring you joy?
  • Have you ever had consistent difficulty focusing, keeping up with your hygiene, or zoning out?
  • Do you feel guilty most days? 
  • Have you ever thought about taking your own life or thinking it would be easier if you were not alive anymore?

Depression Looks Different on Everyone:

Depression manifests itself in people’s lives in various ways. It can stop you from doing many things and hinder your actions. For example, someone with depression may find it hard to get out of bed for long periods or shower.

On the other hand, depression can also hide behind your best friend’s smile that is always on her face. People express depression in various ways; it is essential to check in with loved ones. Even your friend who seems the happiest may be struggling beneath the surface. 

One tragedy that reminds us of this idea is the recent death of Cheslie Kryst. Cheslie was a former Miss USA winner and attorney. Cheslie was cherished and loved by her family; her mom said she was more than a daughter and was her “very best friend.” Kryst’s mom believes her daughter had “high functioning depression.” Although this is not a DSM-5 diagnosis, the Insider explains that this term describes people who feel depressed but don’t seem that way. 

Professionals would probably categorize what Kryst went through as Persistent Depressive Disorder (PDD). The NIH describes PDD as a disorder that causes episodes of major depression. Even though they have these major depressive episodes, people with PDD will also have times when their symptoms appear more mild and manageable. 

Getting Support for Depression

If you are struggling with depression, know you’re not alone! There are options out there for you to get support. 

Depression is hurt held inward, and many people, especially during this time in the world, are struggling with symptoms. NAMI suggests psychotherapy as a beneficial option for depression. Therapy models like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) help people with depression. You can also turn to medication and various other options for help (check out the ones listed on the NAMI page).

Don’t be afraid to reach out to others and be honest with your support system. Remember that asking for help never makes you weak. We all need support from time to time, and humans are social beings – leaning on one another is natural! You matter, and your needs are never a burden! 

If you or someone you love is really struggling, know that help is out there. Below are resources:

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s Website
  • SAMHSA’s National Helpline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-799-7233

I am sending my deepest condolences to Cheslie Kryst’s loved ones. If you are depressed or feel like you relate to some of the symptoms discussed in this post, I encourage you to tell someone and seek support. Your life matters.

Jackie Caputo, LMFT in Woodland Hills, CA | Therapy for Anxiety and Depression in Woodland Hills

About the Author

Jackie Caputo is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who provides therapy in Woodland Hills, CA. She also provides online therapy in California to individuals throughout the state.