What happens when sadness doesn’t go away? When what felt like a “funk” has gone on far too long? What happens when we’re depresses and we don’t know it.
Statistically, around the world approximately 300 million people suffer from depression. 16.2 of those people are right here in America. That statistic comes from data collection of individuals diagnosed with depression, not individuals who are struggling with depression without knowing they have it.
Situational depression isn’t something even I heard about until recently doing research prompted by a fellow writer from Twitter. Although situational depression will most likely dissipate over time, left undetected and untreated leaves it just as serious and just as dangerous as clinical depression.
The fact of life is everyone feels sad at times. It’s inevitable. Nothing we do will create happy moments 24/7 365 days of the year; with that being said, we shouldn’t ignore our sadness. We should never brush it off and say “I’ll be fine.” Nor should we notice a change in our friends and not check up on them. Often times we do this and our sadness that we anticipate will go away, doesn’t. It lingers, gets worse and ultimately reaches dangerous levels requiring mental health treatment.
As said before, it’s normal to feel sad. It’s perfectly normal to experience sadness when a negative event presents itself but there are some thing to look for, to ensure that the sadness we feel doesn’t escalate to depression.
For situational depression, it can be brought on by a divorce, car accident, loss of a relative, etc… Here’s what to look for in ourselves as well and friends and family during those types of trying times:
- A feeling of hopelessness that causes you to abnormally question your worth.
- Loss of enjoyment in normal daily/weekly activities.
- Spontaneous, uncontrollable crying spells.
- Difficult/inability to sleep for multiple days in a row.
- Disinterest in eating more than one day in a row.
- Avoiding/not taking care of normal daily/weekly responsibilities.
- Thinking or feeling like the people around your would be better off if you weren’t alive/ feeling as if there is no help for your current situation.
If you or someone you know is feeling one or more of these symptoms I strongly urge your to reach out to a mental health professional immediately. These symptoms are a sign that there may be more going on than just feeling sad.
Situational depression, as well as clinical depression may be unavoidable but unlike clinical depression, situational depression more often than not is short-term. Although, it’s not likely anyone could guess what person is going to experience situational depression, if an event in your or someone you know’s life happens which causes a great deal of stress or trauma, it’s never a bad idea to reach out and speak with a professional.
We as humans all go through periods of our lives that, for lack of a better phrase, just suck. Be sure to check up on your loved ones and keep in mind the warning signs of something more serious going on.
Asking for help is NEVER something to be ashamed of.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 (they’re available 24 hours a day via phone call or text messages/online chats).