It took me a while to realize that I have depression, even before this COVID-19 situation happened. What I experienced before was a sense of helplessness and hopelessness. I did not want to move. I did not want to wake up. I did not want to attend to my kids. I did not even like to eat, take a bath, talk to others, or just stand up. No one could talk me into moving, but my grandmother. She lives in another state and would call me – “Deng, what’s happening to you? You have little kids to take care of. C’mon. Get up.”
As if it were that easy. When you have depression or anxiety, and if it is beyond coping at that moment, you cannot just get up and move. You cannot just attend to the needs of other people. It is not that easy. You cannot just snap your finger, and the depression will be gone. There is no fairy godmother to pull you up in an instant. There is, however, a mental health specialist that you can contact through mental health apps that can help you immediately if you need it.
How will you know if you need the assistance of a mental health specialist?
- Depression can be mild, moderate, or severe. People with mild symptoms can manage and deal with their depression with a bit of challenge. For example, they will force themselves to get out of bed and go on with their day. But they will be very grumpy, irritable, lacking focus, inattentive, hyper or otherwise, and other signs. For some who can turn their mild depression into something positive, they either do yoga, meditation, other exercise methods, breathing exercises, swimming, dancing, singing, doing sports, crafts, and more. These are all possible. But if you have moderate to severe depression, this is a condition that will warrant the highest level of your tolerance and will. Sometimes, the person loses the battle and gives in to the depression before they can ask for help. It is imperative, though that up until you are in that state of mind, preserving yourself, you have to reach out and ask for help. It is the same thing for anxiety. You will be very worried or fearful – with COVID-19 now, I feel that it is the end of the world. It pains me every single day.
- When the things that used to motivate and inspire you are not that interesting to you anymore, then there is a problem with your behavior. You do things daily that make you happy and contented. These things provide you with purpose, and it may even be a goal that you have set for yourself. It is what makes us productive and appealing, but if you have moderate to severe depression, these things will not anymore be attractive to you. It can include basic things like eating food, taking a bath, talking to your loved one, getting up from, and grooming. You will have no drive to do anything but lie down and sleep. At times, in its most severe condition, you will even think of self-harming, which is not good at all. If ever you are in this position, call a mental health specialist immediately.
- If you are crying all the time or cannot bring yourself to get up from the bed and go on with your day like what is regular for you, then you may have a depression issue. Again, the only way to deal with this problem constructively is to contact a mental health specialist immediately. At this point, you need professional assistance.
There will be times that you are able to manage your depression. Right now, with the lockdown, quarantine, and COVID-19 plaguing the entire world, a lot of people are anxious and depressed. I will not say that you don’t have to be. What I will say is that I want to help you. And for me to help you effectively, you have to help yourself. The only way to do that is to reach out to a mental health counselor or therapist online ASAP.