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CULTURE | TRUTH | INTELLIGENCE

The COVID Blues: What You Need to Know About Depression

Unsure if what you’re feeling is depression or just sadness? 

 

It’s perfectly normal to feel sad every now and then. But what if that sadness seems to extend for days, or even weeks or months?

 

You might have depression. These feelings are being exacerbated given the current COVID-19 fears and uncertainty about the near future.  And despite the fact that depression and extended feelings of sadness might make you want to isolate yourself from others, it’s important that you reach out to others and stay connected. 

 

The sooner you’re able to receive the help you need, the sooner you’ll start to feel better about yourself and life in general.

 

Here are some of the most common signs of depression:

  • An “empty” feeling
  • Lack of energy, or fatigue
  • Loss of interest in activities
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Frequent crying
  • Irritability or anger
  • Unexplained aches and pains
  • A hard time focusing
  • Feelings of hopelessness

 

If you have several of these symptoms and they last more than two weeks, please reach out to a friend or family member for comfort; then schedule a call or video conference with your healthcare professional, and ask about treatment options.  He or she will determine if you are experiencing depression, a different health problem or a medication side effect.

It’s perfectly normal to feel sad every now and then. But what if that sadness seems to extend for days, or even weeks or months?

Treatment Options

 

Talk therapy is counseling with a psychologist, licensed clinical social worker, psychiatrist, or another emotional health expert. Therapy sessions can help prevent feelings of depression and identify any issues that may be causing you to feel this way.   Depression medication generally refers to antidepressants, and there are a range of them on the market. 

 

Different approaches and combinations work for different people, and your doctor will help determine the right treatment for you. Both therapy and medication do not necessarily show instant results, so know that treatment may be a process that takes time which is why being connected to loved ones and friends is important throughout the process of healing. 

Other Effects of Depression

 

Depression and loneliness are risk factors for heart disease, diabetes, and gastrointestinal issues, and they can weaken our immune system. 

 

During these unprecedented times it is important to maintain a positive mindset with the understanding that this will all eventually come to pass.

Fight Isolation with Calls and Video chats

 

Spending time with friends and family doing activities you enjoy can help counter depression.

  • Join a virtual book club
  • Take an online fitness or dance class
  • Start a new hobby/business
  • Get active in group video sessions

The most important thing you can do when struggling with depression is to reach out and ask for support, both professional and personal. Knowing and proving to yourself that you are not alone is key.

 

Finally and more importantly, if you are feeling thoughts of death or suicide please call the 24/7 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255)

 

 

Be Well, Be Safe, Stay Loved