The recent Covid-19 pandemic changed the world in many ways. While some good things came out of it, such as spending more time with family and being able to work from home, other changes led to people all over the world feeling depressed. In fact, the World Health Organization reported that the pandemic resulted in a 25% increase in depression worldwide.
Feeling depressed is common after major life events, such as we all just experienced with the coronavirus. Besides lockdowns which encouraged depression in many people on their own, we had to deal with heavier issues like sickness, hospitalizations and even death. But feeling down is not limited to people who suffered losses in their families or friend groups because of the virus. Regarding the first big question of whether it is normal to feel depressed after the pandemic, the answer is a resounding "yes." This depression is nothing to feel ashamed of, either.
If you are feeling depressed and need to talk to someone about it, the caring therapists of Greene Psychology Group are available to meet with you. Options include in-person appointments in Raleigh, NC or virtual teletherapy appointments across the state of North Carolina. Contact our therapists now for convenient scheduling.
Meanwhile, understand you are hardly alone in feeling down or "stuck" after the pandemic. We are here to help you get back to a more fulfilling quality of life.
Symptoms of Depression
Signs and symptoms of depression can include:
- Anxious or panicked feelings
- Excess worry
- Tiredness and sleeping more than before
- Low self-esteem
- Lost motivation and stagnation in daily life
- Frustration or anger
- Feelings of hopelessness
These feelings can appear for a short period of time, such as several days, or for weeks or months with no end in sight. Sometimes, the low mood is just a passing phase that resolves on its own. But true depression does not go away on its own and affects all areas of your life. For example, with depression you sleep late, find it harder to go to work or school, struggle to concentrate and stop participating in favorite activities. You may also neglect your responsibilities and avoid family or friends.
Feeling depressed takes the enjoyment out of life. You struggle with a low mood for at least two weeks and feel hopeless, at the same time. Because you have little energy, you may feel tired all of the time and sleep easily at any time of day. Despite feeling tired, it can also feel impossible to go to sleep. Maybe you eat more or stop eating due to a lost appetite.
Some of the worst effects of depression include thoughts of substance abuse, self-harm or suicide. These dark thoughts are scary for anyone. They are also hard to talk about with friends or family. With these thoughts, it is important to open up to a licensed therapist because they can help you improve your depression to get back to a healthier and more positive mindset. Therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy are proven effective for symptoms of depression.
How Can I Manage My Low Mood?
If you suffer a low mood and want to try managing its symptoms on your own, first, there are some things you can try. Of course, there is no reason to suffer on your own when help is so readily available through teletherapy visits at Greene Psychology Group. But ways to manage your mood in the interim include:
- Establishing a healthy routine and sticking to it
- Limiting alcohol use
- Eating a well-balanced diet
- Exercising on a regular basis
- Getting enough sleep
- Reconnecting with family and friends
- Setting small daily goals for a sense of achievement each day
- Getting outside and changing your daily scenery
One of the best benefits of the pandemic is the more widespread use of video calls. Use a video call to reach out to your long-distance or quarantined family or friends. This will boost your mood and theirs, at the same time. Remember, as the WHO report revealed, one in four of us are feeling depressed after the pandemic.
When feeling down, you are less likely to feel like pursuing your normal daily routine. By setting small goals for yourself, you can get some things done that otherwise feel overwhelming. You can also feel a powerful sense of accomplishment each day.
When you feel depressed, it is important to give yourself some grace. Allow yourself to rest when needed. Stop thinking negatively about yourself during this time. Remember that your mind is part of your body and when damaged, it needs time to heal just like any other body part. Of course, seeing a therapist is important just like you would see a medical doctor if you broke your leg.
When to Call a Therapist If You're Feeling Depressed
If you are feeling depressed for a few weeks and it does not resolve on its own, it is time to talk to a therapist who can help. Reasons to seek help from a therapist include:
- Your depression symptoms are not getting better
- Your low mood affects your work, interests or relationships
Be aware that depression often leads to substance abuse. In fact, about 25% of people with depression fall into substance abuse and develop a co-occurring disorder. This self-medication using drugs or alcohol only make the depression worse over time. If you feel like using drugs or alcohol to self-medicate or already have an accompanying drug or alcohol problem with your low mood, a therapist at Greene Psychology Group can help.
If you are feeling depressed, whether after the pandemic or due to other causes, therapy is the best pathway to feeling better. Call Greene Psychology Group at 919-205-5339 for in-person therapy or online teletherapy scheduling today.