Depression is well studied but less attention is paid to depression relapses and how to handle it.
Some people will experience major depression only once in their life. Others may have one or more depression relapses. Doctors urge that it’s important to pay attention to your feelings and recognize the relapse symptoms. Seek help quickly and you may be able to prevent a full-blown episode. Below, we point out several relapse warning signs you should be aware of.
Depression Relapse Or Simple Sadness?
Are you down because of a specific event, like losing a job? This could be normal, short-term sadness. But if you feel hopeless and “empty” every day for more than 2 weeks, it may be clinical depression. See your doctor.
Do you avoid leaving the house? Does the shortest conversation feel like too much effort? Do you retreat to your room when family members try to draw you out? A strong social network is important. A loss of pleasure in activities can point to a relapse. It helps to connect with a support group.
Are you sleeping the recommended 7-8 hours every night? Insomnia has been linked to relapses. Dose adjustments to your medication and therapy may be indicated.
Irritability and anger at little things are additional symptoms. Stress may also lead to violent reactions.
Old feelings of self-loathing and guilt may creep back in. You morbidly and incessantly focus on your failures and on events that are beyond your control. A return to psychotherapy sessions can help lift your low self-esteem and build up your strengths.
Sudden Weight Gain Or Loss
You might not have any appetite or you’re binge eating. Pay attention to strong changes in your appetite and weight as that is symptomatic of a relapse.
Fuzzy, Unclear Thinking
Do you have a problem making even simple decisions? What to wear in the morning, what to eat for breakfast? This may be symptomatic of a relapse.
You Want To Commit Suicide
This is a very serious sign. It could indicate you have relapsed into a severe depression. You’re more likely to reach this point if you feel hopeless and lost any interest in the things you once enjoyed. Seek immediate help from your doctor or other mental health professional.
Know and understand the warning signs and symptoms of depression relapse. If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your doctor or mental health professional immediately.