I have been very unhappy lately, am not sure why, I don’t seem to have any reason to. I’ve been avoiding my friends and family and find myself crying over unexpected little things. Everything seems such an effort, studies, money, remembering to eat properly, even watching my favourite shows. What is wrong with me?
It sounds like your unhappiness has some of the qualities we associate with depression. Depression can occur after a particular event or problem, but it can also feel as though it’s come out of nowhere.
When assessing whether unhappiness has become depression health professionals look for a number of signs, some of which include:
• Reduced capacity to experience pleasure: you can’t enjoy what’s happening now, nor look forward to anything with pleasure. Hobbies and interests drop off.
• Reduced motivation: it doesn’t seem worth the effort to do anything, things seem meaningless.
• Lowered energy levels.
• Change in sleep patterns, that is, insomnia, or broken sleep.
• Lowered self-esteem (or self-worth)
• Changes in appetite or weight
• Less ability to control emotions such as pessimism, anger, guilt, irritability and anxiety
• Poor concentration and memory
Treatment is recommended especially if the mood state is severe, has lasted over a couple of weeks and is interfering with ones ability to function at home or at uni/work.
If you think you are depressed, it is important to go and speak with your doctor. If your doctor diagnoses depression then together you can discuss treatment options which may include counselling and in some cases medication.
It is great that you have taken this first step of contacting us. If you are finding it difficult to cope or motivate yourself, you can also make an appointment to see one of our counsellors at Counselling and Psychological Services and work through what might be helpful and how to manage what’s going on in your life.
Phone support is also provided on:
Beyondblue info line: 1300 22 4636
Lifeline (24 hour telephone counselling): 131 114