Depression affects many people. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that 19 million Americans suffer from it. At some point in their lives, 10% to 25% of women and 5% to 12% of men will become clinically depressed. The ever changing economy and job market doesn't help. Depression is real and needs to be taken seriously. Here are five signs you're depressed:
- Conflicts quickly escalate into fights. One dumb way to dull to dull the feelings of helplessness that accompany depression, is to show people you aren't one to be run over. Get cut off on the freeway, run that person down. Be opinionated in everything you do. If you're lucky you'll have enough bruises to distract you from emotional pain.
- You have trouble accepting praise or goodwill. If you find yourself ignoring compliments or even feeling annoyed by them chances are you are depressed. Psychologist, Martin Seligman, studied the behavior of dogs that were given electric shocks. Eventually they would lay helplessly in their cages, not responding to tugs on their leashes that would have moved them safely from the shock. When you are depressed, sometimes you just don't see the obvious.
- You can't concentrate. We all suffer from scattered thoughts now and then. Those who are depressed but don't realize it may act out in fantasy. How do you distinguish a healthy daydream from a potentially dangerous one? Healthy day dreams involve changes in your life that you take steps towards. Unhealthy ones take you from middle-class to stardom overnight.
- You can't stop socializing. Being a part of a group sounds healthy, and for most people it is. But, if the sole purpose is to keep you from wrestling with your own thoughts and feelings, then having a full social calendar is not the right idea. You're probably not all that fun to be around, anyway.
- You feel nothing. Many people don't like feeling sad and choose to forgo feeling altogether. This can be dangerous and people end up getting stuck in neutral. This will doom them to invite the same pain again and again. This will also alienate those around you who care for you.