One symptom of PTSD is depression: on-going sadness, hopelessness and withdrawal. Depression robs you of joy and zaps your energy, and can make life a chore. Unfortunately, many people are reluctant to get treatment to help their depression because of the stigma attached, but you must remember, depression is not uncommon – it affects almost all of us at one time or another.
Depression is caused by the chemicals in your brain (neurotransmitters) being out of balance. It is often attributed to a genetic tendency, or stressful life events such as death, long-term illness, or relationship problems.
Signs of depression include:
- Feeling sad or hopeless
- Loss of interest in participating in the activities that ordinarily you would take pleasure in doing
- Loosing or gaining weight
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Restlessness or sluggishness
- Feelings of worthlessness and low self-esteem
- Difficulty focusing, memory problems, high anxiety
Depression is indicated when symptoms last for two weeks or longer.
- Taking good care of yourself. Eat healthy foods, get enough sleep and exercise
- Try to be realistic. Set goals you can meet and don’t take on more than you can handle
- Don’t blame yourself or others for your depression
- Don’t make major life decisions when you’re depressed
- Get support and treatment
- Try to stay involved in social activities
- Focus on what is good in your life
- Avoid alcohol and substance abuse
Don’t be afraid to get help. Counseling, psychotherapy, and/or antidepressant medications may help. Don’t give up; if one treatment doesn’t work, try another. You deserve joy and happiness in your life!