It’s normal to feel sad and become withdrawn after a traumatic event, but if you’re still feeling blue weeks or months later, that may be a sign that you’re depressed. Depression is a serious mental illness, it can harm you physically, mentally, emotionally, and can even take your life (via suicide) if left untreated. But you’ll need to identify your depression before you can know to seek treatment. So, let’s take a look at some of the symptoms:
If you’re feeling down or blue most of the day and every day for weeks or months on end, this could be a sign that your trauma event is causing depression. Even if you experienced the traumatic event months or years ago, something small that reminds you of the trauma can trigger a depressive episode.
Lack of Interest
Are you losing interest in the things that use to bring your pleasure? If so, this could be a sign that a past or present traumatic event is causing you to develop depression. Take a clear look at your activities, if you’re spending less time doing things you love because you simply don’t want to, depression could be the reason for your lack of interest.
Disrupted Sleep Patterns
Not getting enough sleep or sleeping too much are both signs that you’re depressed. Nightmares or nonstop thoughts about a traumatic event can keep you up all night. On the other hand, some people sleep too much to avoid facing the consequences of a traumatic event. For example, maybe you lost a child and being awake reminds you that they’re no longer in your life. You may decide to sleep all day to avoid that reality—this is a sign of depression.
If you’ve lost or gained a significant amount of weight (5% difference) in a few months or weeks, this could be a sign that you’re depressed. Some trauma survivors use food to help them cope with strong emotions, while others simply can’t stand the idea of eating.
Moving In Slow Motion
Many trauma survivors report moving very slowly, almost like slow motion, after a traumatic event. Simple tasks such as cleaning and combing their hair may take longer than usual. While this slowness is normal right after experiencing trauma, prolonged slowness can be a sign that you’re developing depression.
Constantly feeling tired and worn down over a period of weeks or months can be a sign that you’re depressed. If you’re getting enough sleep and rest and you still feel tired, you may want to speak to a counselor to find out if you’re developing depression.
The inability of think, focus or make decisions could be a sign that you’re depressed. Once again, having a foggy mind right after a traumatic event is normal, but it shouldn’t last for more than a few weeks.
If you find yourself constantly thinking about death, especially suicide, this is a major sign that you’re depressed. Thoughts of suicide should be taken seriously and brought to the attention of a mental health professional.
Experiencing five or more of these symptoms is a sign that you may have major depression and that you should seek mental health treatment. Remember, depression hurts you physically, emotionally, psychologically and can kill you (via suicide) if left untreated.