Too many of us suffer quietly, and cannot tell when something is wrong. When a condition begins to have clear impact on our lives, it’s time to take things seriously, and not just plow on.
This video is part four of twenty-six excerpts from a presentation hosted by SOUL Food Salon in March 2019.
So a lot of times people ask me, you know, “How do you know if you’re okay?” This is a very big question, like when is something wrong? And the fundamental answer there becomes… What I often tell people is that you need to ask yourself, “Is there any level of functional impairment? Are you able to do what you normally do without any interruption? Are you able to sleep at night? Are you able to get up and get through a day full of work and come home feeling energized and good?”
I’ll often ask people about, you know, how well do they recharge? There is such a thing called high-functioning depression, where people can push through a lot of things, and they come home, and they feel okay, but the reality is, they have little energy to do anything else. So one of the things I’ll often ask my patients is like, “Do you have the energy? When the weekend is over, are you recharged? When the day is over, do you feel like you’re ready for the next day of work?” And too many times, I think we see people that just keep pushing through when indeed they are not recharging. To me, this is a very important thing that we keep an eye on. Anhedonia is a classic manifestation of depression. It’s the loss of interest in pleasure and pleasurable activity. We see that quite often as well.
I use the analogy of the drowning person because to me, this is a very fundamental concept. Drowning people do desperate things. I used to work as a lifeguard, and in my experience working as a lifeguard, we were always told to approach the drowning person cautiously, because the drowning person might desperately cling to things and drown you along with them. That’s the swimming analogy, but the life analogy of that is that depressed people, people that are buffered out, tired, “sick and tired,” I hear that a lot, can be irritable, they can be nasty, they can be short, and short-tempered, and the answer is, there’s not a psychological problem necessarily. It could also be more fundamental, and I think we all need to be looking there.