Depressive episode warning signs.

For the past few days I have been worried I am sinking into a depressive episode; I have been irritable, tired and teary. I thought I would post about some of the signs I notice when I am sinking into a depressive episode because I believe it is really important to recognize them early in order to prepare and avoid a bad crash.

Fatigue
One of the biggest signs for me, and I think for most people, is fatigue. It doesn’t matter if I sleep 2 hours or 12 hours, I wake up and the only thing I want to do is go back to bed. It gets so bad my whole body aches, and even getting up to get a drink feels like climbing Mt Everest.

Irritability
I am usually a very mellow and laid back person, but sometimes I get very irritable and sensitive and anything can set me off. Facing a small problem might set me off into hysterics and I will cry for hours, even when I would normally have handled it fine.

Indecisiveness and self doubt
A couple of days ago I wrote about feeling clouded. Before I get depressed I often get a lot of mental confusion, I can’t make decisions at all and even deciding what to wear or what to eat feels like a life or death decision. I start to doubt every choice I make and I become very self critical and cynical.

Watching more television
How much I watch TV is a strong indicator if I am manic or depressive. When I am manic I can’t concentrate on the TV at all, I got obsessed with the last season of Masterchef, but they showed the finale when I was in a manic episode, and even though I had spent months watching the whole season I still couldn’t sit down long enough to watch the finale. When I am depressed however it is like the TV is my life, I often spend all day on the couch watching the idiot box because I just can’t summon myself to do anything else.

Socialising less
I am usually a very social person, I love going out doing things and seeing my friends. When the depression starts however I start to look at get togethers as a chore, and I begin to make excuses not to go as I would rather stay at home.

Change in appetite and weight gain
When I am manic I barely eat at all and I lose a lot of weight, so when I start to pack on the pounds it is a good indicator I am going from a manic episode to a depressive episode as I often start becoming more sedentary and eat a lot more. And chocolate. Lots of chocolate.

Some of these signs are obvious symptoms of depression, but they used to go unnoticed for me until the depression really hit. Depression comes on gradually, so it is important to be mindful of the signs as they are often quite subtle to begin with.
I was diagnosed with depression ten years ago, but after being diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder earlier this year my depressive cycles are a bit easier to predict as they often follow a manic episode and now I am a lot more aware of my mania symptoms (I will write more about my mania symptoms in another post).

I would love to hear any one else’s signs and experiences too so feel free to share! Thank you for reading, I hope you are having a fantastic day!

DD