This month is a very important month for women and their families. During the month of September, we as a community have the assignment to focus on helping prevent suicide. Mental illness is real. NO! It doesn’t mean that you are crazy, as some would interpret. It just means that you are dealing with an illness that can be controlled with proper care and support. I know that it is not as simple as treating the symptoms of a cold; but think about it, ladies. As soon as you feel the onset of severe cold symptoms, you run to the doctor to seek a remedy. The same should be said with mental disorders such as depression.
When you are starting to feel overwhelmed and little things start to get to you, consider the list of overlooked signals. You just might need a little support to get you back to feeling better, happier and back to your normal self.
- Extremely Fidgety: when most people think of “depression” they think of feeling low and in a very dark place; but depression can also present itself in an agitated and uptight way. Sometimes it can even affect your sleep cycle. That’s why it is important to watch for pattern changes in sleep as well as energy.
- Chronic Achy Muscles: Ladies, when we keep our emotions to ourselves, all bottled up, they will erupt somewhere. At times it can be through a burst of anger, but other times, those negative emotions can manifest themselves as physical symptoms like headaches, and other chronic pain. Research has shown that about 40 percent of migraine sufferers also have depression. They sometimes feed off each other – depression causes headaches and headaches cause depression.
- Totally Annoyed: Your hubby or significant other is loving on you like never before. You are not in PMS mode. Your boss is fairly nice to you lately. So, why are you still annoyed!? It could be depression. If you are experiencing unknown depressive episodes, you can show irritability and anger to the point where you are argumentative, losing your temper, and even occasionally throwing things.
- Craving a Whole Bunch of this and a Whole Bunch of That: Yes, it is normal to feel moody and have strange cravings leading up to your period and totally normal to experience these a few days out of the month. What is against the norm is to have an extreme sweet tooth most days of the month. In depressed individuals, the brain is searching for a “pick up” from serotonin – the “feel good hormone” in the brain. Carbs provide a spike in insulin that temporarily makes you feel that everything is good.
These are only a few of the overlooked symptoms of depression. Most of us know of someone who suffers from depression or suicidal thoughts. If you or someone you love shows signs of depression, please see your health care provider. The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance Greater Houston provides “FREE” and confidential support groups for individuals living with depression and bipolar disorders. They also host a women’s only support group on Fridays. Their website is www.dbsahouston.org. The suicide Hotline number is 1.800.SUICIDE (784.2433).