It is true that your 20’s are the best time of your life, but they are also the most stressful. It is also during your 20’s that one develops serious problems such as depression, anxiety and more. There are many things that are constantly on the plate of an average 20 something-year-old.

These stresses range from finding a job that promises longevity, getting married and settling down, paying off student loans and similar other aspects.

A Pakistani young adult is more likely to be depressed because of the general dissatisfaction that comes with working for necessities and not luxuries. If you’re in your 20’s and have noticed a change in your approach to life, then there is a high chance that you are also a victim of the mid 20’s depression or the quarterly life crisis.

Here are 6 characteristics that won’t just help identify, but are also proof that mid 20’s depression is a legit thing:

1. You don’t enjoy yourself

The first sign that something is wrong is when you start to lose interest in things that gave you pleasure once. For some people this is work, for others it is spending time with family, hanging out with friends and sometimes it is something as simple as watching a movie. Usually, adults in their mid-20’s find themselves completely disinterested in any of the above and for a cause unknown. This sudden change is also a sign of depression.

2. Drop in energy levels

When one stops enjoying oneself doing the things they found comfort in, there is a sudden and an automatic drop in the level of energy. You may feel tired frequently and would much rather be in bed or asleep. This not only hints towards the loss of pleasure in work and fun, this also indicates the exhaustion the brain feels. Several individuals even feel completely caught in a rut at this point and may struggle getting out of bed for work. This is very alarming especially if the patterns continue.

3. Less concentration

When the body and the mind don’t seem to be coping then this automatically results in mistakes in a person’s personal and professional life. Considering that depression is causing the lack of concentration, the increased number of mistakes might only add to the already detrimental state of mind. You might find yourself ignoring and missing out on basic things and being unable to concentrate on mundane tasks. This isn’t because you can’t, but because you just don’t see the point in them anymore and that is a clear indication of depression.  You might be lost in your own stream of consciousness thinking about things undone and a life unlived.

4. Irregular sleep patterns

Often depressed 20-somethings develop a strange pattern of insomnia. In some cases, you may not be able to sleep at all. Several 20-year-old adults may tell you they are running on minimal sleep, and that is not a lie. When you are depressed and your mind wavers it is impossible to fall asleep despite being completely drained. This is because the moment things get silent around, they get very loud inside. Where in some cases people find it impossible to fall asleep, other develop infrequent sleep patterns, waking up every few hours and finding it difficult to fall back asleep.

5. Love for seclusion

When all of the above occurs, it begins to take its toll in ways that don’t feel like they can be countered. The first thing that happens is that you develop a comfort in being alone. Where others may prefer spending more time surrounded by people to avoid that pettish feeling, a majority finds themselves secluded and living in isolation and finding great comfort in it. If you feel you suddenly talk less and also don’t feel the need to communicate much, there is a chance you’re sinking into that feeling and it is time to do something about it.

6. Pointlessness of life

One of the most disturbing things that happen is that the job that excited you may be a few months ago begins to feel quite pointless and redundant. Spending time with friends feels like you are bound to repeat conversations so what is the point of the effort anyways. Like being stuck in a merry-go-round, the mind convinces itself that everything is pointless.

Being a 20-something myself, I can guarantee that monotony in routine and the feeling that you’re not accomplishing your greater goal in life is a great contributor to not even wanting to wake up in the morning. This is a feeling that doesn’t tend to leave you on your own and may come and go in episodes making you feel like you have control while feeling a loss of it simultaneously. In an Asian culture, the family pressures also don’t tend to help and only add to the feeling of “What is wrong with me?”

It is important for families to understand how destructive this state can be in someone who is at a crossroads in life.

For some people, the feeling goes away when they settle down with a loved one. For others, it is a reminder that they need to aspire for greatness and push themselves more. But for a majority, it is a sign that perhaps they either require medical help or a change in environment. Mental health plays a pivotal role in how we view things. Just because you’re in your 20’s does not mean it is ignored. So if any of the above apply to you or someone you know; it is time to do something about it.

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