How Do You Know You're Depressed?
A few years ago -- OK, probably 5 years...but who is counting? -- I suffered from depression. The strange thing for me was that I never realized I was actually depressed. It wasn't until an ex-boyfriend mentioned something to me that I realized I needed some help.
You see, I couldn't be in social situations. I suffered from so much anxiety from being in a social setting that I couldn't do anything but want to leave. It always hit me like a ton of bricks. I wanted to be there, but at some point, something happened and I had to get out of there. I still can't really describe that feeling, but I do remember what it felt like and it wasn't fun.
I have always been a social person. I like social situations, so for me to not be able to stay at a party for more than an hour was weird. I just never realized it wasn't normal until that ex-boyfriend mentioned it to me. I still didn't know what was going on with me, but I knew that I needed to get help.
After a lot of soul searching, I finally found a therapist that I enjoyed going to every 2 weeks and he really helped me figure out what was wrong. He helped me over 2 years to find myself and learn to love myself. Through it all, I was able to figure out why I was depressed and when it happened.
For me, it happened slowly. I was never that "OMG. I'm so happy!!" and 2 seconds later crying because something wasn't right. I didn't actually break down crying very often. I feel like that is what depression is to a lot of people and that isn't the case. But that leaves the question, how do you know you're depressed? If you aren't breaking down crying all the time, how do you know? Unfortunately, there isn't an easy answer to that question. I had lived with my depression and social anxiety for a few years and didn't realize it was a problem.
For me, so much of my depression was a chemical imbalance. After a year of only therapy, it was finally time for me to get some antidepressants. I was put on Lexapro, and that helped fix my chemical imbalance. I realized almost immediately that things were working for me. It was strange, but felt so good to finally feel better. I have been off of Lexapro for a long time now. I haven't had depression-like symptoms in years and that is great to me.