Depression can be overcome with meticulous treatment and relaxation techniques. However, many individuals find it hard to stay in that zone of happiness. Depression like many health disorders can relapse. It’s estimated that about 50 percent of people who undergo treatment for depression experience depressive episodes again after a period of 4 months.1
Causes Of A Depression Relapse
It’s no surprise that whatever reason unsettles you can lead to depression or its relapse. Following are the common causes.
- Rejection in love or at work
- Traumatic experiences
- Stressful life events
- Divorce or children moving out
- Hormonal changes with pregnancy and menopause
Identify The Symptoms Of A Relapse
Be attuned to how you feel mentally and physically to analyze whether you are having a relapse. Below are the symptoms you should watch out for.
1. Feeling Irritable For No Reason
One of the primary signs of a relapse is getting easily annoyed with the slightest matters. You should be especially wary if you are getting irked at daily troubles for no reason. You would also feely grumpy and may start taking everything said or done by people at home and work personally.
2. Fatigue And Lack Of Initiative
You would feel that even after taking rest or not being that busy, you still feel totally drained. You would not be interested in doing day-to-day activities that you used to do at home. You find that even your pet projects or hobbies start to seem unappealing to you. You just want to laze around at home the whole day.
3. Decline In Libido
Many individuals who are going through a depression relapse claim that they don’t feel excited about making love. Lack of intimacy and interest often causes many relationships to sour. Snapping at loved ones and being constantly grouchy make things get complicated.
4. Poor Concentration And Confusion
While doing tasks that come easily to you, it feels like you are becoming quite forgetful and disoriented. Your brain seems foggy and you feel like you mind isn’t able to focus on anything at hand. You are constantly worrying about the future or regretful about some past actions.
5. Interrupted Or No Sleep
One of the classic signs of depression are the signs of interrupted sleep and sleeplessness. Depressed individuals go into overthinking mode when they are alone and retiring for the night. The piling stress due to negative thoughts leads to a lot of tossing and turning on the bed instead of sleeping. Lack of sleep aggravates the fatigue and mental confusion as well.
6. Isolation And Feelings Of Self-Loathing
Regardless of how extroverted or introverted you are, when you are relapsing you would want to just escape from the rest of the world. This reclusive nature would last for long durations and you would also be bogged down by feelings of self-hatred. You become hypercritical of yourself during this time and would prefer solitude the most.
7. Suicidal Thoughts
If you are feeling that you would be happier if your life ended, it’s a serious call for help. Suicidal tendencies are pretty common in individuals with severe depression. Self-harm and self-hatred can make this tendency worse. It’s best to seek professional help immediately.
8. Inexplicable Aches
A mental health issue like depression can manifest as physical symptoms like unexplained aches and pains in the back, head, chest, and stomach. Lack of appetite even for your favorite foods can also indicate that you are experiencing a relapse.
Ways To Cope With A Relapse
If you have undergone treatment for depression in the past, it’s best to meet your healthcare professional again. Be upfront about what you are experiencing so that they can prescribe a revised treatment approach with drugs or therapy. Often drugs that enhance serotonin and dopamine are administered in these cases.2
For some, just bonding time with family and friends or a good break away from the usual can be very helpful. Pick up a relaxation technique like meditation and yoga to encourage mindfulness. Stick to the routine your professional has recommended for you and never quit it without consulting with them first.
|↑1||Burcusa, Stephanie L., and William G. Iacono. “Risk for recurrence in depression.” Clinical psychology review 27, no. 8 (2007): 959-985.|
|↑2||Williams, J. Mark G., Catherine Crane, Thorsten Barnhofer, Kate Brennan, Danielle S. Duggan, Melanie JV Fennell, Ann Hackmann et al. “Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for preventing relapse in recurrent depression: a randomized dismantling trial.” Journal of consulting and clinical psychology 82, no. 2 (2014): 275.|