Depression is one of the most common psychological disorders and it is estimated that 1 in 4 of us will experience some form of mental difficulty in our lifetime.
Sometimes in our lives, we can feel sad or unhappy for a few days. However, if you are persistently feeling sad or low in mood for a few weeks or months and it is interfering with your life, you may be experiencing depression. Sometimes people may not realise how depressed they are, especially if they have been feeling the same for a long time, if they have been trying to cope with their depression by keeping themselves busy, or if their depressive symptoms are more physical than emotional.
It is important to remember that depression affects people in many different ways and the severity of the symptoms can vary. At its mildest, you may simply feel persistently low in spirit and finding things harder to do, while at its most severe, depression sometimes referred to as clinical depression can make you feel suicidal and that life is no longer worth living. In severe cases, Counselling is highly recommended.
Some of the most common symptoms can include:
- Not feeling motivated to do everyday things.
- Loss of energy.
- Not getting pleasure from the things you used to enjoy.
- Changes in your sleep pattern.
- Loss or increase in appetite.
- Feeling sad or hopeless.
- Avoiding people.
- Feelings of guilt or worthlessness.
- Loss of libido.
- Finding it hard to concentrate.
- Feelings or thoughts of suicide.
Some people can also experience some physical sensations, for example, heart racing, feeling panicky or headaches.
Some people are unsure why they are depressed as it may have come on gradually. Other people will have an obvious reason, for example, a recent bereavement, a relationship break up, losing a job, or the birth of a child. However, it is not always clear to the person why they feel the way they do.
How you can help yourself
Depression is different for everyone, but just like any other illness it can get better with the right help and support. There are many different ways of managing depression that can help you to lead a normal, healthy and active life.
I have listed a few things that may be of help;
- Talking to someone like a counsellor can often help. Having someone to confide in and to talk about your thoughts and feelings can be very beneficial.
- Taking regular exercise – there is evidence to suggest that exercise improves mood and general wellbeing. It is best to choose a form of exercise that you enjoy.
- Some people find, changing their diet, can improve their mood. For instance, eating more vitamins and minerals and reducing foods you eat that contain sugar and refined products (changing from white pasta to wholemeal pasta).
- Regular social contact will often help with improving mood. Humans are social creatures and interactions with other people promote our emotional wellbeing.
- Improving your sleep pattern is important when you are feeling low or depressed. Getting into a good routine will help.
Some things that will help with sleep would be to;
- Go to bed at the same time every evening.
- Try to avoid taking a sleep during the day.
- Avoid caffeinated drinks or smoking from 6pm.
- Avoid using alcohol to help you sleep.
- Try to take some exercise every day.
- Look to unwind and feel relaxed before going to bed.
It is important that you talk to your GP if you are feeling low or think you may be experiencing depression.
Counselling in Chester – Please feel free to contact me by telephone, 07773 464964 or by using the contact form.