Are You Depressed or Just Having A Bad Day?
You've been shopping, you've eaten a ton of chocolate, had a bubble bath and you still feel awful. Who should you call: a friend or a shrink?
You leave your house and as soon as you hit the highway, you're stuck in a massive traffic jam. When you finally get to the office, you can't find a parking lot. You're really late for work now.
It starts to rain. You decide to make a run for it from car to the office, but your best shoe (and the rest of you) get drenched in the process.
To make matters worse, you had a big argument with your husband last night and now you're just teary, mopey and into chocolate. You want to run home, call your mum, cry and kick a cushion. This is a bad day, but with any luck tomorrow will be better.
But when you're suffering from depression you can't be bothered to worry about being late - what's the point? And the rain drenched you. So what? Discomfort just adds to the agonising numbness. If you go home, you'll lie under the duvet for hours, alone, staring into space, fantasizing about whether it would be easier to just end it all. This is depression, and it probably won't be any better tomorrow.
We all get down from time to time. There is, however, a significant difference between a bad run of things and depression. So how can you tell if you're about to become a statistic (1 in 4 women become depressed each year)?
IT'S JUST A BAD DAY
OK, so you may not be depressed, but you have thought about leaving everything behind and emigrating to Timbuktu, because anywhere's got to be better than where you're at. What's the answer? The obvious first stop is family, friends - or anyone prepared to listen, empathise and tell you when it's time to stop feeling sorry for yourself.
The second option is to undertake a little mental reorganisation.
I AM DEPRESSED ACTUALLY
If you suspect you are really suffering from depression, there's no need to panic. A bout of debilitating despair is a signal that something in your life isn't working. Whether it's your health, lifestyle, thinking, or the way you deal with your feelings, it's an opportunity to put it right. The condition is better understood now than ever before.