“ Depression is the inability to construct a future.” ~ Rollo May
When we speak of depression, many picture an individual who is so sad and unmotivated that it is an effort to get out of bed or tend to personal care. Indeed this does characterize some who are severely depressed and need medical care.
However, many in the general population suffer from chronic low-grade depression. They may function well in most aspects of life, and certainly do not look depressed, yet nothing brings them joy or happiness. Some experience irritability or a lack of tolerance for others. Others may constantly complain and criticize those around them. They are depressed but do not know it, and blame other people or situations for their unhappiness.
Some may have gained weight, and while this causes more distress, they cannot summon the motivation to do anything about it. Increased dependency on substances, or spending more time on addictive behaviors (gambling, pornography, spending) are often indicators of depression.
In the absence of a major trigger for depression, such as the death of a loved one, loss of a job or relationship breakup, there is a good chance that there is a biochemical basis within the individual. Often this may be hereditary, but not always.
If depression is suspected, a visit with one’s physician or a psychologist is in order. A professional can objectively assess the individual and make recommendations.
Often people with chronic depression have been that way most of their lives, and do not know what it feels like to experience genuine happiness and positive mood. Consequently they may resist the notion that they may be depressed, because their emotional state seems normal to them.
It is normal to feel sadness or stress sometimes, but it is also normal to feel happiness and excitement. If the positive end seems missing from your scale of emotions do talk to someone about it. Otherwise, physical and mental health, along with work and relationships will suffer.
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