I think I might be depressed, or maybe I’m just in a bad mood. I don’t know. All I know is that I’m not happy. My question is should I go to therapy or a psychologist or whatever, or am I just being dramatic? Zack
Hello Zack and thank you for your question.
Before thinking about therapy, I think you need to find out first if you are depressed, or if it is just the ups and downs of daily life.
Some questions that you should ask yourself is
- Is not being happy affecting your daily life?
- Is it causing you to stop doing some things that you would have done before, or is it stopping you from meeting friends?
If this is the case, then your mood will probably dip further.
Things that can affect whether you feel happy or not and what to look out for.
Are there changes in how you think? For example, are you more negative, or do you often think “I can’t be bothered, or what’s the point?” Are you critical of yourself inside your head? Do you give out to yourself if you make a mistake?
Changes in what you do. Is your sleep affected? Are you eating more or less than you normally do? Have you stopped doing things that you normally do? Is it hard to get out of bed in the morning (well harder than normal!) Things that you would have previously enjoyed, do you still enjoy them, or are you losing interest?
When you start to get depressed, you will notice some of the changes above, changes in how you think, and changes in what you do. You may also notice that you do not have the same amount of energy.
I should say that there is a difference in being depressed and not feeling happy. If it is depression, CBT and Mindfulness are good and you can do these with a therapist, or with self help books and apps.
If you are just not happy, I would start to look at some changes you could start to make right away. Sometimes, if we are not happy, it is to do with, wanting things to be different than they actually are, comparing ourselves to others, and not having a sense of, what is okay in our lives.
If this is the case, I would suggest you have a look at mindfulness, and also positive psychology. These are things that you can do, without therapy.
Have a look at positive psychology. This is a good place to start – the authentic happiness site. For mindfulness you can take a course but there are great apps out there. The one I always recommend is Headspace
If you are interested in doing some reading, I would recommend starting with some books on CBT, you could try “Mind Over Mood.”
I would try some of those self help things first, if you are not entirely sure if you are depressed or just not happy. If you don’t get much success with self help, then by all means, therapy is an option.