Do you ever have a sense of being tired and not having much energy? Or perhaps you find yourself just plain grumpy with your spouse, your employees or your children. People around you seem to be walking wider circles around you. Your road rage is close to the surface. You take something out on the cashier who doesn't deserve it at all.
If your spouse were to ask you, you would never acknowledge depression. You would say, "Oh, I am just tired." You might even say, "Well the cashier must have never finished grammar school." What you would not do is say to yourself, "The truth is that I am really feeling down and blue.”
There's a reason for your crankiness. When the fog of depression descends, you are slowed down. You don't have the energy to eat much less go to your health club. You could care less about sex and most of the time you are just not sleeping well. What about your waking up every morning at four a.m.?
So with energy at such a low ebb, you don't expect much good is going to happen. You may be just putting one foot in front of the other. When someone gets in your way, you want to scream.
Sure, you may be working your head off. You may be flipping through the channels, or be lost surfing the Internet. Often people in your shoes turn to alcohol or drugs to zone out. But the truth is that these are mindless ways of avoiding what you are really feeling — "trapped in an never ending maze."
So, give yourself a break. These are indeed signs of clinical depression and running from it only makes it worse. Exercise may recharge your batteries. Being around up people give you sense of life being good again.
But if these give you only temporary relief, consider getting help. Research shows that the best treatment for depression is a psychotherapy, and if needed, a combination of therapy and medication. Delaying getting resources will put you through pain needlessly. You may feel like you are being brave by toughing it out, but those who love you want you to step up to the plate and bring someone on board to interrupt the cycle of the depression. Give it a chance.
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