Recently guys, I’ve been feeling pretty fucking low vibe. A bit lower than low vibe. I may have texted the bestie with the ever ominous sentiment of, “I have a feeling…”
It was something I just couldn’t shake. This went on for about 10 days.
And, of course, like attracts like, right?
Naturally, one of the most common conversations I’ve had lately is with clients needing to take a real good look at what’s going on, and processing whether or not they’re in a funk, or, if there’s something a bit bigger going on.
So, if you’ve been going through a funk, and think it may be something more, here are seven pieces to think about and help you decide if it’s a funk that you’ll get through with time, or if it’s something else and maybe time to talk with someone.
- The first piece of course is if you're feeling down (have a low mood or low vibe) for a lot of the day, nearly every day. This may look different for different people, especially young adults. A decrease in mood may look like distractibility or even agitation or irritability, not necessarily classic feelings of sadness.
- Another key indicator is loss of interest in activities. The things that used to make you happy or would take your mind off of the stress of life just don't interest you anymore.
- Loss of energy, not being able to get out of bed, or it taking longer to get out of bed can also be an indicator that someone is experiencing a depressive episode.
- Additionally, if you experience thoughts or feelings of worthlessness, pointlessness, or guilt, those could indicate depression.
- Change in weight either from not feeling hungry and not eating, or increase in consumption of comfort foods, can be a physical indicator that your mood has been consistently off.
- Also, changes in sleep...sleeping way more or less than your typical routine.
- Finally, thoughts of death and suicidal thoughts, even without a plan or attempt, can indicate depression. This can range from feeling like you want to go to sleep and not wake up, to considering ways of ending your life, to an established plan or actual attempt.
(That’s right, I went there. It’s a HUGE myth that mentioning suicide will trigger someone to contemplate suicide. The more we talk about it, the more likely someone is to speak up if it’s something they’re considering. Just a little something I picked up during my time volunteering on the suicide crisis line.)
It's important to remember that just one of these things doesn't mean you're depressed, depressive symptoms cluster together, and are consistent for more than a two week period.
Of course, if you experience any of those for less than two weeks, that could indicate another form of mood disorder. The key thing to consider is—are the symptoms, or even your mood in general, affecting your satisfaction and quality of life.
The most important question to ask yourself when considering speaking with someone is, "How is this affecting my life?"
If your mood is affecting your life, and getting in the way of your routine, then it's time to find a professional to speak with. Your primary care physician can be a great place to start, as most doctor's offices now have behavioral health integrated, so if you need it, there's likely a mental health professional available in the same office.
Additionally, there are a number of other things that it may be besides depression such as Seasonal Affective Disorder, Dysthymia, or even Adjustment Disorder. Adjustment Disorder, which is pretty much simply having difficulty dealing with a life change, is often misdiagnosed as depression, particularly in young adults. And yes, those things are diagnosable, they can be viewed along the same lines as allergies and stuff, easy to manage with basic skills, which we’ll look at in the next blog.
One important thing to note is that if a person is experiencing suicidal thoughts and do not feel like they can keep themselves safe, they should seek help immediately either by calling the National Suicide Prevention at 1-800-273-8255 or Lifeline Chat at the following link http://chat.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/GetHelp/LifelineChat.aspx or going to their local emergency room for assistance