Signs of Depression

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It is normal to feel sad when we lose a loved one, fail an exam, or even end a relationship. However, when feelings of sadness is prolonged and affects our daily lives, it is symptomatic of depression.

Other signs of depression include:

  • A loss of interest in activities previously enjoyed
  • Weight loss or weight gain; or decrease or increase in appetite
  • Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep; or sleeping excessively
  • Feeling agitated or restless
  • Feeling tired and lacking the energy
  • Feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt
  • Difficulty concentrating or having trouble thinking
  • Frequent thoughts of death or suicide

Related: Myths and Misconceptions About Depression

Getting Help

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If you have been constantly feeling sad and experiencing some or all of the symptoms above, it is appropriate to seek professional medical help, especially so if thoughts of death or suicide are present. Do not self-diagnose or self-manage without speaking to a medical professional first. Don't be embarrassed if you need to seek help for your depression. There are professionals out there who can advise you on the best course of action and provide the support you need to make positive changes to your life. Remember you are worth it! We all need a helping hand at times and there is nothing wrong in asking for help.

Related: Coping with Depression

What You Can Do to Manage Your Mental Wellbeing

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Following your doctor's consult, below are some self-management tips that you can try at home.

  • Set a routine for yourself and include some basic level of activity throughout the day. This is important to give your life a daily purpose. A morning jog or a brisk walk for example, would help jumpstart your day on a positive note.
  • Create a daily motto for yourself. This will be your day's inspiration. Some examples would be: "Life's too short to worry about everything", "Let loose and live", and "It is another beautiful day". You could even keep a diary of inspirational quotes; when you come across one, note it down in your diary and read it when you are feeling down.
  • Choose to engage in an activity that you would normally enjoy even if you don't want to do it. This is to prevent you from losing sense of yourself and thus reducing your activity level to a minimal. It is good to keep busy and occupied.
  • Try a new activity that you can do with a group of friends or if you prefer, by yourself. Cultivate new interests that will keep you going. You could try indoor rock climbing, pick up a new language, or even explore Singapore’s many museums as they have new events constantly.
  • Rally social support. Allow your family and friends to help you as. they keep you company on your journey to better mental health.
  • Don't deny your feelings. The harder you try to suppress or control depression, the more depressed you might get. Avoidance is not the way but acknowledgement and acceptance are the first steps toward recovery.
  • Get sufficient rest and have regular meals. Without enough rest and a proper diet; you will not have the energy nor the mental capacity to fight this battle.
  • Use affirmative, positive self-talk. Believe that your life is worth it and that you are worthy as a person no matter what your mind tells you. Know that you are loved, and that your life has meaning even if you might not feel that way at times.
  • Re-look, re-think and re-set your life's goals. Dream again to rediscover that purpose and meaning in your life which will motivate you to live a more fulfilled life.

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