5 Indicators That you Might be Suffering From Temporary, or Clinical Depression

A student sits alone on the steps looking upset The pressures and responsibilities of post-secondary education can be unlike anything many first time students have ever experienced. Even seasoned graduate students who have been enrolled in postsecondary education for the better part of a decade can find themselves succumbing to the considerable stress of higher education. These include difficult scheduling conflicts, growing financial pressures, interpersonal problems, and constant news bombarding millennials about how bleak their post-graduation prospects are. In fact, 20% of Canadians will experience a mental illness in their lifetime. If you just haven’t been feeling like yourself and can’t quite put your finger on what’s wrong, below are 5 signs that you may in fact be suffering from depression.

Feelings of Helplessness and Hopelessness

Do you find yourself waking up every day unhappy, or even worse, struggling to find a reason to get out of bed for an early morning class, asking yourself why even bother making the effort? Do you feel like you’re stuck in an emotional rut that you are unlikely to ever escape? While feelings of despair are by no means unnatural, constantly believing them is toxic.

Apathy or Loss of Interest

If you were someone who once found pleasure in hobbies, pastimes, sex, learning, going out, exploring the world, learning new things and now can’t be bothered, that inability or desire to feel pleasure is a good sign of depression. One of the first, and major signs of depression is a lack of care about anything but the weight of your feelings.

Changes to your Appetite or Weight

Significant weight loss, or weight gain (5% or more of your body weight in a given month) is another tell-tale sign that you are suffering from depression. When people become depressed, they often deal with the feelings and/or powerlessness by eating a lot more or less.

Sleep Changes

If you are someone who had a fairly healthy, or at the very least, reliable sleep schedule, and you now find yourself either sleeping the day away as a way to avoid the pain, or being unable to sleep altogether, this is another common sign of depression.

Anger or Irritability

If part of your change in attitude has consisted of increased feelings of restlessness, agitation, or even feeling like you could explode into violence at any moment, you could be depressed. Similarly if your tolerance is gone and your temper is short with people you know and love, these signs of frustration with life, or your feelings, could also be a sign that you are depressed.

However hopeless you feel your situation may have gotten, there are always avenues for help. Whether it be an anonymous chat room or phone line, or an off or on campus counsellor or psychologist, seeking help is the best thing you could possibly do for yourself. Sometimes simply finding out that you have a problem is the first crucial step to doing something about it. Life is not easy, especially as a young adult in the 21st century. Depression may be on the rise, but it is by no means something that you should just accept. If part of your depression stems from the stress of trying to balance your life, take a look at our services and see how we can help alleviate some of it.

References:
(2016). “Fast Facts About Mental Illness.” Canadian Mental Health Association. Retrieved from: http://www.cmha.ca/media/fast-facts-about-mental-illness/#.WKHmnlMrLIV

Smith, M., & Segal, R., & Segal, J. (2016). “Depression Symptoms and Warning Signs.” Help Guide. Retrieved from: https://www.helpguide.org/articles/depression/depression-signs-and-symptoms.htm

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