All About Depression
Many of us feel time from time to time. We feel fed up, miserable when things happen to us. It is very normal to experience depression when stressful events happen. If we have lost our job, ended a relationship etc. These are understandable reactions to upsetting or stressful events and experiences, it is also quite normal to experience them for no reason at all. But when emotions such as hopelessness and despair take hold and just won't go away, this can be a sign of depression.
What is Depression?
Low mood and feeling sad becomes depression when you start to feel constant sadness or a lack of interest in life. When your sadness lasts for many weeks, months or even years and keeps you from living your life, it may be something more than sadness.
What Causes Depression?
There are a number of factors that can increase the chances of experiencing depression:
Past physical (include domestic violence), emotional, psychological, sexual, spiritual abuse and neglect can increase your vulnerability to depression
This could be abuse experienced as a child or adult.
I did loss separate to Grief as there are so many things that we loose that can cause depression. For many at the moment, loss of a normal way of life in regard to Coronavirus, is a trigger. Other forms of loss could include loss of a job, not having an identity, grown up children leaving home, an end of a relationship.
It is normal to grieve the loss of someone you love. No one can say how we should grief and how long this “should” be. However, grief can become complicated where we are not only grieving what we lost, other issues can be mixed in as well to make it difficult to understand how you are really feeling.
Again, mentioning our current Pandemic. There could be other natural disasters, what you see happening in the world, how people are behaving etc.
The effects of substance misuse and depression can be an issue for the individual that is misusing substances and the family also friends that are trying to support them.
It is also well documented that some children of parents that abuse substances are predisposed to depression later in life.
Chronic Illnesses and Pain
Whatever is happening in your body can undermine all your efforts to stay emotionally well. Whether it is depression over a recent diagnosis, loss of health, concerns over someone else’s health could be a trigger.
Depression could also be side effects of certain illnesses or medication you are taking.
Thyroid and Hormones
Menstruation, Pregnancy and Menopause are often associated with depression.
Also, when your thyroids produce too little or too much hormones, that can often trigger depression as well.
How does depression make you feel?
Feeling hopeless and helpless
You may feel that nothing will ever get better and you feel powerless to do anything to improve your situation.
Losing interest in your normal daily activities
Loss of interest in daily activities. You don’t care anymore about hobbies, pastimes, social activities, or sex. You don’t feel able to feel happy and pleasure.
Your appetite or weight changes
You may have lost a lot of weight or gained a lot of wait because you are comfort eating or have lost your appetite
You lack energy
You feel tired, sluggish, and constantly drained. “Feel like you are walking in treacle” where your body may feel heavy. Even easy, small tasks are difficult and take longer to finish
You say really negative things about yourself
You have strong feelings of guilt and worthlessness. You criticise yourself harshly for what you think are your faults and mistakes made
Your sleep changes
You could be sleeping too much or not at all. Or you could just find it hard to get off to sleep, wake during the night several times or wake up too early.
Having a short fuse
You may feel more anger or irritability. Feeling agitated, restless, or even violent. Your tolerance level is a lot lower, your temper short. Everything and everyone gets on your nerves.
Loss of energy. Feeling fatigued, sluggish, and physically drained. Your whole body may feel heavy, and even small tasks are exhausting or take longer to complete.
You take part in behaviours to help you escape from your feelings such as drinking too much alcohol, taking drugs, gambling dangerous sports etc.
Trouble focusing, making decisions, or remembering things.
What are examples of depression?
As described above, where you could be diagnosed with Major or Clinical depression.
Manic depression, or bipolar disorder
Manic depressionis the outdated name for Bipolar disorder
You will have the same symptoms of depression but it will also alternate between periods of mania or hypomania, where you feel happy.
Signs of a manic phase include:
- high energy
- reduced sleep
- racing thoughts and speech
- grandiose thinking
- increased self-esteem and confidence
- unusual, risky, and self-destructive behavior
- feeling elated, “high,” or euphoric
Where someone has gone through periods of losing touch with reality. This could include having hallucinations and or delusions.
Perinatal & Postpartum depression
For Perinatal depression, this usually occurs during pregnancy or within 4 weeks of childbirth.
Additional symptoms could include exhaustion, extreme worry about the baby’s health and safety, difficulty in caring for the baby and yourself, thoughts of harming yourself and or the baby
Women who don’t have much support or who have previously experienced depression, could be at risk.
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder
Is a severe form of PMS which tends to be more psychological
In addition to depression, women can experience
- cramps, bloating, and breast tenderness
- joint and muscle pain
- sadness and despair
- irritability and anger
- extreme mood swings
- food cravings or binge eating
- panic attacks or anxiety
- lack of energy
- trouble focusing
- sleep problems
In severe cases, women can have thoughts of suicide
Seasonal Affective Disorder
Also known as S.A.D. is depression related to certain seasons in particular the winter months.
As the season progresses it can lead to suicidal thoughts. Once the Spring comes around, symptoms can improve
There is no quick fix for dealing with depression. Medication can help to a certain extent but if you don’t deal with the underlying causes, you will always be dependent on them when there is really no need.
How I can help myself
It is important to remember that you are not alone, and help is available
You could benefit from depression counsellors or psychotherapists if you have several of the symptoms described above.
I have another article here the provides many ways on how you can start to take care of yourself so you can start to feel better.:
If You Are Feeling Suicidal…
There are many people who want to support you during this difficult time, so please reach out! Remember that suicide is a permanent solution to a problem that is temporary as things never stay the same!
Call the Samaritans free telephone number on 116 123
What type of therapy is best for Depression?
Talking with me, a psychotherapist and counsellor, I can support you explore the root causes of your depression and low mood.
I would support you in looking at how what is happening with your mind, body, spirit and what is in your environment is impacting on how you are feeling. Will work together for a plan and a way forward for you.
The work I do with you is based on 35 years of research and client work with thousands of people. We provide Holistic Integrative sustainable, workable solutions that work!
Find out how we can help you today
Depression treatment with me will help you tackle your depression and move forward with a positive outlook on your life.
Call me now or complete my online booking form to make an appointment with me
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I am a Therapist based in Sutton Coldfield, UK also available online.
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