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We all go through ups and downs in our mood. Sadness is a normal reaction to life’s struggles, setbacks, and disappointments. Many people use the word “depression” to explain these kinds of feelings, but depression is much more than just sadness.

Some people describe depression as “living in a black hole” or having a feeling of impending doom. However, some depressed people don't feel sad at all—instead, they feel lifeless, empty, and apathetic.

Whatever the symptoms, depression is different from normal sadness in that it engulfs your day-to-day life, interfering with your ability to work, study, eat, sleep, and have fun. The feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, and worthlessness are intense and unrelenting, with little, if any, relief.
Hey my friend sara feels disconnected from herself. She does all activities bur she feels as she is not doing anything. So is this called as depression? Please suggest...
Depression is "a mental state or chronic mental disorder characterized by feelings of sadness, loneliness, despair, low self-esteem, and self-reproach; accompanying signs include psycho motor retardation (or less frequently agitation), withdrawal from social contact, and vegetative states such as loss of appetite and insomnia."

Depression is not uniform. Signs and symptoms may be experienced by some sufferers and not by others. How severe the symptoms are, and how long they last depends on the individual person and his illness. Below is a list of the most common symptoms:

* A constant feeling of sadness, anxiety, and emptiness
* A general feeling of pessimism sets in (the glass is always half empty)
* The person feels hopeless
* Individuals can feel restless
* The sufferer may experience irritability
* Patients may lose interest in activities or hobbies they once enjoyed
* He/she may lose interest in sex
* Levels of energy feel lower, fatigue sets in
* Many people with a depressive illness find it hard to concentrate, remember details, and make decisions
* Sleep patterns are disturbed - the person may sleep too little or too much
* Eating habits may change - he/she may either eat too much or have no appetite
* Suicidal thoughts may occur - some may act on those thoughts
* The sufferer may complain more of aches and pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems. These problems do not get better with treatment.

To know more about Depression and causes of depression visit:
Try and force yourself to spend time with your friends. Maybe see a doctor and be honest with them; no one likes taking medicine but it may help you. i struggled with it for a long time before i started taking medicine - i still struggle with it but i have more better days than worse.

There is a new book out called "The Gift of Depression" - it caught my eye because of how the title shocked me. I listened to the author on a little audio and what she said made a lot of sense. What I remember was that depression symptoms are telling us we are sick of the life we are living or have been thinking we should live, so lost of interest and energy are signs that we are not living our passions or as our true self for so long we shut down. She emphasized the seriousness of suicidal plans and means but the less serious sucicidal vague thoughts and ideas of "I wish I were dead" or "I wish I was never born" etc. are signs that we do wish that part of ourselves or our life that we hate we want to kill off so we can move forward to live the life we realy want to deep down.
Meds can help and can be temporary, even the mild ones can help get the brain synapsis to get back on the right path.
But activity is the most important - physical activity and social activity as well as getting back in touch with hobbies and things we really used to love to do.
Self care and having a basic daily routine is really important. You have to MAKE yourself do the basic things and seek help.
Keep a journal and write it out. give yourself a break and just rest but don't let it go on and on.
Think of the good things in your life, gratitude lists, lists of accomplishements and think of things that could make your life better - instead of giving into the thoughts of how bad it is and how it seems it will never change or get better.
It's like winter and you gotta stay warm and take care and get the spring going by starting to plant seeds of a new life.
Whatever you don't like about your life, write them down and start thinking of ideas of how you could make some changes.
Also look into the Recovery Model for depression and mental health like the W.R.A.P. (wellness and recovery action plan), look it up. Its a worksheet that you fill out to plan your life and how you are going to manage your wellness and your strategies and road blocks and what you can do when you see signs of depression.
I love the first question: What are you like when you are well? Really write that out.
Then the second: What do you need to do every day and every so often to stay well?
And it goes on to help you take charge of your recovery and wellness.
Hope that helps.
EFT or Tapping also helps with emotional relief. Look if up for free online. Like tapping (dotcom)
I like to combine recovery with tapping so I have a blog called recovery tapping where I write about things like this. But it is not limited to just depression, it is about recovery from anything that is holding you back especailly codependency issues but being a mental health counselor for many years, and my degree is in psych I like to help educate the community about things and resources because it's just not that abnormal to have problems. No one is compltely healthy, we all have problems and we all need each other, good support is essential.
You're not alone.
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