Depression is tricky and can, at times, makes us forget that we are alive in the world. In a depressive state, it is easy to lose track of ourselves and our relation to the world. Self-care and social life are put on the back burner while we try to navigate the storm of emotions that swarm our minds. In my previous article, I discussed some symptoms of depression.
This article will address what begins to happen once you make it through the winter.
Moroseness. Malaise. Sorrow. These are adjectives usually ascribed to depression, but irritability is also one of them. Irritability often accompanies depression because it is a manifestation of your internalized frustration and helplessness. When depressed, you easily blow up in other’s faces. However, when you are getting better, you become more patient and tolerant.
Hygiene and grooming
Something that is immediately noticeable is your grooming. It is imperceptible at first, but one day you notice that you look better. Your skin has its usual radiance, and your eyes are not so sullen. It is not a change that happens overnight, but a product of you slowly coming back to yourself.
Tackling chores you once put off
During a depressed state, you do not have energy and often feel fatigued. Hence, the plans you made take a backseat. A sign that you’ve become to get out of the darkness is that you have more energy and more desire to accomplish things.
Interest in activities
Another sign of improvement is that your interest returns. In a depressive state, interests towards hobbies, social activities, or goals wane, and it is laborious to get up and do things that you once found fun. However, in the process of relief from depression, you will notice that your interest returns. You’ll feel energized and excited to embark on your previous endeavors.
A common symptom of depression is a change in appetite. Similarly, in periods of relief, you experience also experience a change in appetite. For some, that may be an increase. Food becomes more appealing. With this change, you may also begin to notice more self-control in regards to the foods you have been trying to avoid. However, this symptom depends on the individual and is not a definite indicator that you are getting better.
For those who suffer other disorders that are comorbid with depression, this may symptom may vary.
Depression affects your executive functioning, especially your ability to make decisions and concentrate. Though antidepressants are prescribed to patients with severe depression, studies show that antidepressants do not improve executive functioning or other cognitive skills. They only help to improve mood. With the help of problem-solving treatment and cognitive behavioral therapy, you may begin to notice an improved concentration.
One of the cruelest aspects of depression is that it echos all of your fears and faults. It enlarges your imperfections and makes you believe that you are worthless, incompetent, or not enough. These thoughts serve to keep you depressed. But, as you begin to reconnect with yourself and to have compassion towards yourself, your self-worth will increase. You will be equipped to fight these negative thoughts, and they will slowly recede from your mind. Then, you will see yourself in a better light.
Though it may not feel like it at the moment, depression does not last forever. It comes and goes like the tide. Though some symptoms of depression will get better, some will persist. They do not all appear or disappear at once. If you still experience some symptoms, such as insomnia, please reach out to a health care professional for assistance.
Let us know in the comments below what other symptoms you have noticed that signify recovery!
Gillihan, Seth J. How Do You Know When Your Depression Is Improving?7 Feb. 2018, www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/think-act-be/201802/how-do-you-know-when-your-depression-is-improving.
James Cartreine, PhD. “More than Sad: Depression Affects Your Ability to Think.” Harvard Health Blog, 23 June 2020, www.health.harvard.edu/blog/sad-depression-affects-ability-think-201605069551.
Shilyansky, Carrie, et al. Ect of Antidepressant Treatment on Cognitive Impairments Associated with Depression: a Randomised Longitudinal Study. 16 Mar. 2016, www.thelancet.com/journals/lanpsy/article/PIIS2215-0366(16)00012-2/fulltext.