How do you know when depression is serious or temporary? Find depression warning signs here with three checklists to use. Find out now if you or someone you love has symptoms of severe depression.
Don't wait until it's too late.
Depression is common in individuals who suffer with migraines and chronic pain.
It is not just a low mood. Depression is a serious medical condition that can reduce everyday normal functioning to become virtually impossible.
Participating in any of the activities or being with the people they once used to enjoy, can become unbearable.
There are visible depression warning signs shown in changes of behavior, physical reactions and the not so visible emotional symptoms.
Everyone deals with it differently, but the signs are there if you know what to look for.
We all have a low day now and again and life's events alone can leave us feeling quite miserable and down.
The problem arises when these low feelings persist for a long time causing changes in mood and behaviors that can then develop into a deeper depression.
Have a look so you can know the depression warning signs before they take you by surprise and it’s too late.
If you experience any of these for more than two weeks please contact someone for professional help:
In the past two weeks have you:
1. Been feeling sad, down or miserable?
2. Lost interest in most of your usual activities, or notice a real lack of pleasure in your life?
3. Increased or lost your appetite significantly resulting in losing or gaining a lot of weight?
4. Experienced insomnia or have a hard time sleeping? Or the other end of the spectrum – wanting to sleep all the time?
5. Felt slowed down, lethargic, unable to do usual things? No energy.
6. Become restless or have (or made yourself) excessively busy?
7. Experienced feelings of worthlessness?
8. Had excessive or obsessive feelings of guilt?
9. Poor concentration?
10. Had any thoughts around death, wanting to die or commit suicide?
If you answered yes to 4 or less, it is unlikely that you have a depressive illness, you may just be experiencing a low time in your life.
If you answered yes to 5 or more, it is likely that you may be experiencing a depressive illness. If you are experiencing some of these symptoms please TAKE ACTION NOW and arrange to speak to your doctor or phone a counsellor. Please don’t wait, there is a lot of help around for you, so don’t tackle this on your own.
If you are having thoughts of suicide or harming yourself please take urgent action now. Thoughts of suicide are the most extreme result of depression. I cannot stress how important it is to get help as soon as possible. See your Doctor, tell your friends, let others help you. I know asking for help can be hard – but as the Nike ad says “Just Do It”.
I can highly recommend the professional counselors that you can reach 24/7 online for pain counseling and migraine support. Even though I was embarrassed and ashamed at first, getting counseling and migraine advice was one of the best steps I ever took towards getting the help I needed.
You don't have to do this hard bit all by yourself. There are professionals that are trained to help.
Some of visible depression warning signs to watch for include:
regular headaches, migraines;
excessive sleepiness, lethargy, social withdrawal;
excessive weight loss, diminished mental capacity, loss of focus and concentration and prolonged sadness or grief.
Each person will experience and exhibit different depression warning signs, so these lists may not include all of the possibilities or combinations of symptoms.
Depression can seem to have no cause (called “endogenous” literally meaning ‘created within’), or you may have an obvious cause – like chronic migraines - called “reactive” depression. Either way, depression can become severe at any stage.
If the symptoms I have mentioned above last a long time and become persistent, you may reach a point where it feels like there is no way out. The cause will play a part in how you cope and eventually overcome it. It can become a downward vicious cycle.
It is difficult to break this cycle on your own, especially with recurring severe debilitating migraine pain in your life, so please find a professional who can help you. Friends and family are good, but it really is an area for the trained professionals to handle more efficiently for you.
Please don’t let it reach levels of complete despair, severe depression can lead to suicide if left unattended. Let’s face it - recurring long term chronic migraines would depress even the most optimistic of people. We are not trained to deal with this level of constant pain and disruption in life in all areas that follows as a result, so getting some help is a smart move.
All you have to do is make it. The smart move that is! I can recommend this company. They are very reputable and I trust them:
Other useful links for dealing with depression now that you know the depression warning signs:
Our resources page migraine headache links has more information on depression for you to click on.
The Western Australia Department of Health - Center for Clinical Interventions (CCI) has a 9 module plan called
Back from the Bluez - Coping with Depression
that is simple and straight forward. It includes pdf worksheets to print out.
Cognitive Behavior Self-Help Resources - this website has some amazing information on depression with a number of free downloadable worksheets using a CBT format to print out and use. The "depression thought record sheet" could be a very useful tool for you.
When I am feeling down I put on my earphones and listen to my favorite music for 5 minutes minimum. I sing and dance around and I always feel better after that.
Let us know how you cope in the Facebook comments box below. Your comments will help other readers that also get depressed from time to time.
Until next time, be well and be pain free,
Reference: Priest, R. Prof (1983) Anxiety & Depression: A practical guide to recovery. Random House: UK.
Depression Warning Signs: What To Watch For