Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic hit us, I am not the same person I used to be. Though change is inevitable and the only constant thing, I changed differently. With time & after going through a series of unprecedented times, my mental health was on edge. Slowly, I was slipping into depression, though I’m still there. However, what makes things worse is the depression relapse. Yes, you read that right.
What Is Depression Relapse
I know some of you may not be aware of this term. Depression relapse is a recurrence of the symptoms once you have moved out of the despair. In simpler words, depression relapse is when a person slips back into depression after being well for a while. It is a phase when you realize that things are getting bad again. You can sense some signs that tell your mental health is getting worse.
Depression can come back depending upon the environment and triggers around you. When I found how badly my mental health deteriorated, I tried to pull myself together. To some extent, I succeeded in doing so. Thanks to Indian society, relatives, and parents, depression crossed the threshold of my mental health. I find myself going through it again. The only difference is, earlier, I had people to support me. Now I have none.
Anyways, so what made me realize the signs of depression relapse in my life? Below are some signs that tell about a depression relapse. There are various potential signs for the same. Going through these signs can help you understand depression relapse in a broader sense.
Signs Of Depression Relapse
1. Loss Of Enthusiasm And Interest
Things that used to excite me once, no longer make me happy. Listening to music no longer feels refreshing and jolly. I do not feel like reading books or decorating my room as I did. Depression relapse may make your interests feel like a burden on you. You may not have the same enthusiasm and zeal. You may even lack interest in your relationship and towards your friends.
2. Change In Sleeping Pattern
Either you sleep more, find it difficult to sleep, spend the night turning and tossing in bed, or cannot sleep at all. In my case, I sleep more and quite early than I used to. There are times when I prefer sleeping to escape anxiety and feeling lonely and depressed. I often wake up at night and then find it difficult to go back to sleep. Some people may start overthinking involuntarily about how things are not right, and this may cause stress to them. Thus, they may not sleep at all or have trouble having a slumber.
3. Being Surrounded By Suicidal Thoughts
I will not lie here. Though I am not suicidal, I empathize with people committing suicide and think they won’t have to suffer now. One of the signs of depression relapse is having suicidal thoughts. The person feels that life is hopeless and doesn’t want to carry the burden and suffer alone. They may attempt suicide without realizing how badly it may affect their loved ones and kin.
4. Feeling Worthless
A person going through depression will often feel worthless and of no good use. Even though the person holds immense potential and talent, he/she is likely to feel unworthy. When it comes to depression lapse, the person may again start feeling hopeless. The inner critic makes them feel worthless and responsible for every mishappening. You may find him/her self-loathing and feeling guilty.
5. Sudden Loss Or Gain In Weight
Ever since I am facing a depression lapse, I can see a change in my body weight. I have lost a considerable amount of weight and no matter what I do, I cannot help it. People like me either put on weight or lose it. They may have a loss of appetite and lose interest in their favorite food. They may not feel hunger as their subconscious mind is already occupied with thoughts and stress.
6. Crying For No Reasons
It is one of the dreadful things that depression can do to anybody. You may find a depressed person crying their eyes out, mostly in their solitude. At times, I cannot stop my tears on things that make me upset. I realized that my mental health is deteriorating again. I remember, a couple of months back I was happy and lively. Now I feel gloomy, tearful, and miserable. There are days I lay down and stare at the ceiling while tears keep falling for literally no reason. Then comes a nonstop flashback of terrible memories and I cry my heart out.
Trust me, I was never this. These are the most horrible things that depression has done to me.
7. Isolating Yourself From Everything
If you are back to your isolation and social withdrawal, you could be having a depression relapse. Even if you are surrounded by people and still feel lonely and isolated, things are not well with you. I remember how much I enjoyed people and their company. Now I am a person who throws vague excuses to avoid meeting people. Guess what? I want to hang out like I used to do but then there is a part of me, that holds me back.
8. Feeling Irritated And Agitated
While I was trying my best to pull myself from depression, I used to get irritated and agitated. Things finally got better, and I was out of the miserable time. But these days, I am back to being irritated and agitated. There are times when I snap at people for no reason and cannot tolerate even the slightest of a stressful situation. Feeling agitated, angry, irritated, and annoyed easily is a sign of depression relapse.
9. Difficulty In Concentrating
A depressed mind can find it hard to focus on things. If you are back to being unable to concentrate on important things, this could be a red flag. People who have depression relapse may have a hard time with memory and recalling things. They may not give their best as depression rules their mind.
10. Fatigue And Physical Pain
If after spending days, weeks, or months to the fullest, you are back to experiencing fatigue and physical pain- you may have a depression relapse. For some people, depression isn’t just in their minds- it is also about physical pain. If physical pain is traveling through your body, this could be an alarming situation.
Triggers Of Depression Relapse
There can be certain triggers that may cause depression lapse for people who have already experienced depression. There are situations and events when one may feel stressed and uneasy but that may not trigger depression. However, triggers can bring back an episode of depression, and then people are back to being gloomy and depressed. Different people can have different triggers of depression relapse. Some of the triggers of depression relapse can be:
- The unexpected death of someone close and dear
- Discontinuation of medication and treatments
- Going through stressful situations such as being fired from the job, scoring fewer marks in exams, going through a broken relationship or marriage, or any other significant losses.
- Unable to continue the strategies such as writing a diary, meditating, cultivating a hobby, etc. to cope with depression and handle stress.
- Change in job or shifting to a new place.
- Financial crises and losses.
Earlier I used to be a person who loved the cleanliness and could not withstand a messy room. I used to be a cheerful, highly motivated, chatterbox, and lively person. Now, I often find my room messy and no longer disturbing. I often speak to myself as I don’t feel like talking to anybody.
Depression is real and nasty. A person could be smiling and laughing his/her heart out, yet fighting the inner demons. You may not know whether a person is depressed as people do not always show their emotions and hardships. With my personal experience, I learned to avoid some depression triggers. If you are also going through the same, pull yourself together and seek help, if necessary. Or, if you know somebody going through this, help that person out before it is too late.
The reason behind writing this article is to help me remember who I was and what I have become. Writing keeps me sane these days and I hope to keep writing.
Also Read: How Do I Move On From What Has Happened
Prerna loves to write and shower love on animals. She enjoys reading and exploring places. Though sweet in her pictures, at times, she is difficult to understand. Being a strong believer in hard work and karma, she loves solitude and peace. Apart from this, she loves petrichor and harmony and wishes to achieve her one and only ataraxia for a lifetime.