How to know if you have non-seasonal depression or general malaise

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A lack of focus, disengagement from favorite activities and avoiding social contact could be symptoms of something deeper than the winter blues.

Psychologist Erika Geisler calls it “passion exhaustion,” and she sees more of it in her clinical practice in Wilmington, North Carolina.

“I think at first [of the pandemic] we just act out of fear,” Geisler said, “and quickly put on our yoga pants and worked from home.

“I think now that we’ve been living this lifestyle for so long, people have kind of lost their passion and their desire to live, and so we’re seeing a lot of depression because of that.”

Geisler says it’s normal for some people to have SAD, but that’s different.

“It depends on whether you had it before the pandemic or not,” Geisler explained.

“If it’s something that happened over time, it might be more situational.”

Geisler recommends speaking with a therapist to determine if it’s pandemic or more generalized anxiety or depression.

“I think overall people are hurting, and they’re hurting in different ways,” Geisler said.

She says it affects couples, seniors, young adults, teenagers and children.

If you’re feeling emotional exhaustion, Geisler has some tips to help you regain your zest for life:

  • Spend quiet time reflecting on what life was like before
  • Identify what made you happy or brought you joy
  • Find ways to participate in these activities or something similar
  • Stick it out

To learn more about Dr. Geisler’s ideas for combating emotional exhaustion, visit here

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