For some people, every year around this time there is a lowering of energy levels, a negative shift in mood and an increase in feelings of despair. It’s called seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and it affects half a million people. It is directly tied to changes in the seasons and most commonly starts in the fall and continues throughout winter. A number of people who suffer from SAD never seek help simply because they assume they’re just going through a rough patch and have to deal with it. For some, this can be a dangerous situation, which is why it’s important to be aware of the signs associated with depression. Marjorie Hope Gross, A.A.S., C.P., a certified psychosynthesist and holistic counselor, regularly works with clients facing this internal conflict, and offers some of the tell-tale signs that it might be time to ask for help.
When you feel you can’t do it alone
Losing full confidence in yourself to satisfactorily handle even the situations most common to you can be an early sign that your down feelings are there to stay for a while. When you try to take on tasks despite your feelings of personal inadequacy, you may start to experience a snowball effect that further adds pressure to the situation. Inability to resolve shortcomings that result from this can leave you feeling more trapped and alone, which can become a vicious circle.
When you worry all the time, and never seem to find the answers
When the issues start to multiply, and the list of worries is growing week to week, it can become extremely stressful to try and find the solutions on your own. Stress can affect the body in a physical way as well, launching a variety of unfavorable reactions. When you feel like you can no longer find a way to resolve the things that are causing stress in your life, it’s time to team up with a professional that can assess the situation and determine the best path back to a stable place.
When the way you feel is affecting your sleep, your eating habits, your job, your relationships and your everyday life
Having a bad day is one thing, but when every aspect of your day seems to be suffering due to your feelings, and especially when it starts to happen day after day, this is a sign that it’s something more. Once sleeping and eating habits are disrupted, there are a slew of other health issues that can become activated. When your feelings start to mess with your job and personal relationships, this can exacerbate the situation to a place where it may not be recoverable. At this point, it is best to check in with someone who can give the right advice to start to resolve the situation before it goes too far.
When the advice offered by family or well-meaning friends doesn’t really help you feel any better
Most people will rely on their friends or family that they talk to or spend time with regularly for advice and for comfort. But there are some issues that are beyond the manageable scope of our loved ones, despite them having our best interests in mind. Once you feel like the conversations with the people that are closest to you are no longer cutting it or giving you any hope for the future, it may be time to speak with a professional.