17.3 million Americans report experiencing at least one depressive episode during their lifetime. In fact, major depression is one of the most common mental illnesses we experience today.
Most of us have either lived with it ourselves or at least know of someone who has. And given these trying times, we can only benefit from learning more about depression, and how to deal with it.
Let’s start by looking at some of the effects the ongoing pandemic could have had on our mental health.
Depression and the Pandemic
In a world where most of us are so used to social interaction and activity, the pandemic is a drastic change of pace. Some of us are isolated in our homes and we haven’t met our loved ones in days. Others are tired of the monotony that comes with staying indoors.
It is only natural that financial loss, growing unemployment, anxiety, uncertainty, and the unpredictability of the situation is bringing us down. We are forced to reflect, trapped in our minds and homes, wondering about things we’d rather leave alone.
Spotting the Signs in Ourselves and Others
At times like these when we feel like we or someone we love is falling into the darkness, it is important to recognize what is happening and give ourselves the support we need. Here are a few signs to watch out for in both, yourself as well as your loved ones.
- Feelings of worthlessness
- Losing interest in previously enjoyable activities
- Increased irritability
- Disrupted sleep patterns
- Loss of appetite, or overeating
- Reduced or no attention to personal hygiene
- Coping with alcohol or drugs
- Low energy and lack of enthusiasm
- Feeling extremely isolated or lonely
When we experience these feelings, it is important to acknowledge them. Once we recognize what is going on, we will be ready to take the next step to recovery.
Self Care and Recovery
Taking care of ourselves should be a priority, and despite what we may be told, it is not a selfish one. As the saying goes, you cannot pour from an empty cup.
When things get a little too dark, remember that there are still plenty of things you can do to cope, regardless of whether there’s an ongoing pandemic or not.
Make time to connect with your loved ones, whether it’s through Facetime, Skype, Zoom, or the hundreds of other apps out there. Talk to the people you love, and make an effort to keep up your communications throughout the week.
Just because we’re indoors doesn’t mean we can’t access therapy. There are plenty of therapists and psychiatrists who now work from home. Here is a great local, St. Charles resource for you to reference
Unapologetic and unfiltered venting can do a lot to improve our mental health and release the constant pressure we have on our minds. Talk to a trusted friend, keep a journal, and find a way to release any pent up frustration.
Finding Hope as a Community
Depression is not easy to live with, but we as a community in St. Charles, Missouri, have it in us to be there for each other as well as ourselves, whether it’s in our neighborhoods or at our workplaces.
Take the first step and give your employees and yourself the support you need with the help of these Workplace Wellness initiatives by Community Strong.