Is it depression?


There are many signs of depression that are not often spoken of, or understood, by the general public. Many believe depression is being “overly sad,” and nothing more. Depression, however, manifests in many varied ways, and is often the result of either a chemical imbalance or circumstances currently happening in the individual’s life.

Chronic depression will need to be controlled with long term medication and therapy, while acute, situational depression may often resolve as the situation improves or becomes adjusted to, such as a death in the family or loss of a relationship.

If you have experienced feeling “different” than your normal, usual, self, and experience signs such as sleeping for the majority of the day, or alternatively not sleeping well and experiencing severe insomnia, ongoing, for days at a time, or longer. If you experience the lack of interest in things that would normally, otherwise, bring you happiness, joy, or contentment, such as family, activities, or routine activities like exercise, or reading, if those are things you usually enjoy.

If you feel like you have no purpose and no drive, and are tired, all of the time. These can be signs and symptoms of depression, or something else medically wrong, and it is best to get professional help for your ongoing symptoms.

Many individuals who experience depression feel “dead” inside, and fear their lack of any emotion, this can also be a sign of a serious depressive episode. If you no longer feel anything, for any activity (often including self care or cleanliness) or person, specifically, you may require assistance, including and up to medication therapy or counseling.

The issue will not just become better without some kind of intervention, and can be quite serious, leading to health issues, and may lead all the way to thoughts of suicide or harming others.

Depression is often a symptom, in it’s own right, of something deeper, such as post traumatic stress disorder from traumas suffered in the past and not addressed, chemical imbalances, hormonal imbalances, or anxiety, among others.

Seek guidance from a primary care provider or mental health provider to follow up on symptoms or issues that you may be experiencing.

Betty Cohn is a retired registered nurse with 35 years of experience in the medical field in a variety of roles. She will write a semi-monthly column about medical-related topics and welcomes questions and suggestions at