- Feelings of sadness or unhappiness
- Irritability or frustration, even over small matters
- Loss of interest or pleasure in normal activities
- Changes in appetite — depression often causes decreased appetite and weight loss
- Agitation or restlessness — for example, pacing,
or an inability to sit still
- Indecisiveness, distractibility and decreased concentration
- Fatigue, tiredness and loss of energy — even small tasks may seem to require a lot of effort
- Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions and remembering things
- Crying spells for no apparent reason
- Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches
Hi my name is Kiersten and I am (mildly) depressed. There. I said it. Why was that so hard?
I’ve had these symptoms for over a year now. I thought the problem would go away if I gave it enough time, and that all I had to do in the meantime was keep myself busy and distracted, but the symptoms are still there. I try to explain away the symptoms, for fear that labeling it “depression” will invite some unwelcome demons into my life, but I believe calling it what it is is a necessary step to recovery.
The headaches are obviously from a lack of caffeine, and the crying spells are stress-induced because of my job and because at times I feel lonely and homesick (you would too if you lived nearly five-hundred miles from home!). I’m a goldfish so naturally I’ll have trouble remembering things (yes, I can breathe underwater), and isn’t indecisiveness an innate trait of every woman? So you see, everything is normal and I am a-okay. But NORMAL doesn’t look anything like this. It is happy and (at least relatively) content, full of energy and interest in life. And small, insignificant things do not constantly frustrate it or seem like unsurpassable mountains.
I’ve decided that it’s finally time to move forward. Depression has run its course for a year, but now its season is over and I am going to begin a new chapter of my life. I am starting with a short, simple list that includes daily exercise, Bible reading, minimizing computer and TV use, a consistent sleep schedule, and healthier eating habits. This list is in no way set in stone, as I may end up adding to it over time. I would also like to find someone to keep me accountable, but it is hard reaching out and asking for help, especially when my mind tells me I can make it on my own. Forgive me, but I have a hard time believing that!
Happiness is a choice, and I intend on finding it again.