Gransnet forums

Health

Depression....how do you know how bad it is?

(25 Posts)
inkycog Wed 01-Jan-20 12:57:49

How can you tell if you've got it? You're getting better/worse?

I know there are various scales to measure but how does a person know day to day?

BlueSky Wed 01-Jan-20 13:24:13

Inkycog this is an interesting question. I guess you would have to be diagnosed by doctors/specialists? Also if the depression is persistent rather than off/on? And it totally dominates your life?

Nannylovesshopping Wed 01-Jan-20 13:27:06

If you can’t bear to get out of bed or open blinds all day, you are not doing too well, if you can get up and shower then it’s a good day💐

Xxjanexx Wed 01-Jan-20 13:35:57

This is one off the mental health problems I suffer from.
I find on a bad day/week I’ve no energy,I can’t get out off bed,I cry for no reason,I don’t take care of personal hygiene,I just want to sleep,I won’t speak to anyone except my husband then it’s basically yes/no.
No interest in anything,I feel I can’t cope and don’t want to cope....the last sentence is if it goes on for a few weeks.
When I’m awake I stare into space with racing thoughts and I hardly eat.
If you feel your going down that route go to the GP as soon as possible.good luck 😊

inkycog Wed 01-Jan-20 13:42:36

Nannyloves, that doesn't sound good. Xx thanks.

love0c Wed 01-Jan-20 18:59:27

inkycob thank you for starting this post. It is not a 'nice' 'happy' question to ask. I have found my life very hard to cope with for as long as I can remember, literally. My first memory is of when I was two and a half years old, not very happy. I wonder is it a case of feeling very vulnerable and people see this in you and treat you accordingly? Is it a case of not accepting your lot and being happy with it? Constantly feel like crying, feel alone and tend to look for things to pass the time. I do hope lots of other people will post on this. It does help to hear how other people feel and how to cope with 'life'.

phoenix Wed 01-Jan-20 19:14:50

What a hard question to answer!

I think it affects people differently, a bit like pain thresholds (and that is not meant to be facietious) and stress levels. What seems acceptable to one, could be intolerable to another.

Sorry not to be able to give much of an answer, you'd think that I should be able to, having had it, and still having it, but perhaps a bit less at present.

inkycog Wed 01-Jan-20 19:18:26

I find it heartening that people have answered and some are every bit as confused as me.

SirChenjin Wed 01-Jan-20 20:25:43

When I’m feeling a bit low I find I have days where nothing sits right - I struggle to concentrate and everything feels very flat. I’m quite removed from things and feel tired and lethargic, and doubt myself a lot. Depression is a different thing although - I can’t get out of bed, showering is a huge event and even washing a cup is beyond me. I can barely string a sentence together and I cry all the time. I can’t work and just want to be on my own as interacting with others is a huge challenge. I feel like I’m a clock that has wound down and has now stopped, and can’t form a coherent thought about how to get going again.

Fortunately I haven’t had too many periods of absolute depression because they are truly hideous, but feel low quite a lot.

Harris27 Wed 01-Jan-20 20:28:21

There’s a big difference with being low and depression. I think the fine line is when your not communicating and everything seems dark and black. I think that’s a good inclination your not doing too good.

Luckygirl Wed 01-Jan-20 21:18:24

Gosh - when I had it there was absolutely no doubt in my mind whatsoever. I could barely get out of a chair and I just kept weeping. I felt so very very ill - physically and mentally - and really and truly just wanted life to end. I kept pleading with my OH and family to "let me go."

Honestly it was grim in the extreme - it frightened me to death. I had never ever experienced anything quite like it. And I very definitely never wish to ever ever again. I still take an anti-depressant and would love to stop it but firstly I am too frightened that it might recur; and my GP is clear that now is not the moment to try while my OH is so ill and life has its stresses.

Honestly if you have a serious depression there is no mistaking it.

Grannybags Wed 01-Jan-20 21:51:01

Exactly what Luckygirl said. If you have it you'd know

Rockingchair Thu 02-Jan-20 00:09:01

I can cope with everyday life when I'm low but when depressed I become totally apathetic. I communicate in monosyllables and retreat into myself.

Yennifer Thu 02-Jan-20 00:19:45

I don't know till its really bad and I realise that nothing is bringing me joy. Then I tend to pull myself out of it because I am Side Effects Woman and my superpower is to get all negative side effects of any medication.

BradfordLass72 Thu 02-Jan-20 01:27:21

Does it matter where you are on some arbitrary scale?

If you feel bad and emotionally low, that's cause for concern.

Talk to someone, just telling someone how you feel helps.

This website could be useful, it has a list of helplines to call.

www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/mental-health-helplines/

yggdrasil Thu 02-Jan-20 08:49:57

I have had depression for ever. When it was really bad, it was like looking down a tunnel, and there was a 'smell' in my mind, that told me.
I have taken all sorts of pills, none of which seemed to work, but were all the doctor had to offer. Nowadays you can get CBT, which lots of people say is very useful.
About 20 years ago, I got prescribed fluoroxetine, and the change was amazing. This works when the depression is caused by a lack of a hormone serotonin to the brain. In other words, a physical thing.
I can still get bad days, like anyone, but I can usually cope till they pass.
Don't know if this is any use to you, but it is what happened to me.

humptydumpty Thu 02-Jan-20 13:43:47

When I had a severe spell of depression, and shortly afterwards ended up in a psychiatric hospital for 3 months, my doctor suggested going to dtay with an old friend for a few days. It was a single direct train journey, but he might as well have suggested I go to the moon.

Luckygirl Thu 02-Jan-20 15:03:09

humptydumpty - sorry that you have had this dreadful experience. I hope that your treatment has been successful. flowers

Nanna58 Sat 04-Jan-20 10:27:31

Have battled with depression since I was 17, many , many bouts. But the one constant is that I have NEVER realised how bad I was, it was only my family viewingme with a clear head, and knowing what I was like when ‘ normal’ who were able to alert me to my downwards spiral.

anniezzz09 Sat 04-Jan-20 10:50:31

I think it does matter where you are on a spectrum of feeling low. At least the NHS has now latched onto CBT but medically, a diagnosis of depression will bring a cornucopia of drugs which do have side effects and do not suit all.

I get very low in winter and am pretty sure I suffer from SAD. Low levels of vitamins B6, 12 and foliate can lead to depression. Similarly low levels of vitamin D, magnesium and omega 3.

Huge advances have been made in the last few years in understanding the effects of trauma in childhood and later life which may cause depression and also PTSD and CPTSD (complex post traumatic stress disorder). There's no one size fits all.

So I have found keeping a journal useful and noticing when I'm feeling down and seeing if I can find a link. I get depressed if I do too much, I need quiet and solitude and that often lifts my mood.

The state of the world at the moment is enough to make anyone depressed. I think it's been said that depressed people are just utterly realistic. Ruminating on things which we ultimately can't affect can make us depressed.

I recognise the lethargy and lack of interest in doing that others have cited. I usually find that lifts if I rest or can find the energy to do something I like/meet a friend. However the extreme 'can't get out of bed or open the curtains' is what I would say was serious depression.

Toadinthehole Sun 05-Jan-20 17:30:15

This is my first post. I’ve had short bursts of depression, but nothing major. I would like to know if anyone has experienced, either themselves, or in someone else, feelings for another person, either changing as they come out of the depression, or being forgotten. I’m not talking about what they feel while depressed, but rather, when they are better, and the brain fog has cleared.

SirChenjin Sun 05-Jan-20 18:52:11

Do you mean that the feelings you have for another person have diminished once you’re over the depression?

Toadinthehole Sun 05-Jan-20 19:19:08

SirChengin yes

SirChenjin Sun 05-Jan-20 19:34:49

I’m not sure my feelings have diminished - I still love my family as much as ever, but being on medication at a maintenance dose means I probably feel less extremely, if that makes sense?

Toadinthehole Sun 05-Jan-20 19:54:15

Yes SirChengin thank you 😊