A serious medical event or emergency, such as a difficult diagnosis, a heart attack, or cancer, can really turn your life upside down. You may feel like your life has been interrupted, and you may struggle to move on with your life.
In addition, if you are still struggling with your illness or a medical emergency, or you are in recovery, it can feel very debilitating. It may be difficult to see things in a positive light. You may suffer from profound sadness, despair or you could be grieving due to the recent medical news.
This can make it difficult to function as you normally would, and you may suffer from anxiety, depression, or even PTSD as a result. So, what are the symptoms of depression and how can this be linked to medical events?
Symptoms of Depression
Depression is different for everyone, and symptoms can range from mild to severe. However, there are some common signs that you can look out for if you think you may be depressed. These are:
- Feeling worthless
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Low self-confidence and self image
- Difficulty concentrating
- Struggling to sleep or oversleeping
- Overeating or not eating enough
- Negative thoughts
- Thoughts of self harm
- Angry outbursts
- Persistent sadness or emptiness
- Anxiety or stress
- Loss of interest in usual activities
How to Cope with Depression After a Serious Medical Event
It is estimated that over one third of people diagnosed with a serious, life-changing illness will experience depression as a result. The same goes for those who have suffered from a medical emergency or event.
This is due to the fact that a medical emergency can be a traumatic experience, which can result in symptoms of depression such as panic attacks, flashbacks, anxiety, and stress. For the most part, this impact on your mental health is temporary, and there are things you can do to ensure you get through it.
To aid on your road to recovery, there are a few things that you can do to nurture your mental health. For instance, it is paramount that you try to understand your feelings and symptoms and why you’re feeling this way.
Our emotions can get the better of us sometimes, and you may feel angry or irritable due to your illness or diagnosis. You may also feel helpless if you are severely impacted by your illness, which can lead to a spiral into depression.
It is vital that you try to maintain a positive mindset to help you recover and move on. What is important to keep in mind is that what you feel is normal after what you have gone through. This is a temporary feeling and it will pass with time.
You will also benefit from speaking to someone. Whether that is a friend, family member, or someone you trust. You can also join support groups to help you connect with others going through a similar experience. Talking things through can help you unpack and unload your thoughts and help you see things in a more positive light.
If you can, maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle can also really benefit your mental health. Light exercise every day can also help to limit stress and anxiety and releases endorphins that can help you feel more uplifted and positive.
It is essential that you speak to a counselor or therapist if you are struggling with depression or your mental health. A counselor will be able to provide resources, tips and tools to help you recover and give you the support that you need. If these feelings persist, then it may be time to speak to your doctor or a medical professional for medication and treatment.