We all feel down at times, miserable, sad or fed-up. Most of the time these feelings will pass within a few days and they don't significantly impact our ability to perform our normal daily activities. Sometimes we are aware of a specific reason why we feel as we do, other times the feelings just seem to come over us with no obvious cause. When we feel like that, talking with a friend can help and the feelings soon pass.
In depression, however, the feelings don't just pass. They may last weeks or months and can become so bad that they affect your ability to get on with life.
What's it feel like?
Everyone experiences depression differently, but some of the common things people describe are listed below.
- feel unhappy much of the time (and often worse in the mornings)
- have no interest in life
- no longer enjoy the things you used to
- find it's hard to make decisions, even small ones
- find you can't cope with things you used to take in your stride
- feel tired and drained (even when you've just got up)
- feel restless, nervous or anxious
- find you've lost your appetite or you're comfort eating
- have little or no interest in sex
- have difficulty getting to sleep, staying asleep or getting out of bed
- have lost your self-confidence
- feel worthless, useless, hopeless, inadequate or inferior
- feel more irritable, lacking patience
- avoid people
- think the world would be better off without you
- consider ending your life
Why's it happening?
Depression can strike anyone at any time. Sometimes it can come on relatively quickly and may be triggered by some identifiable event, but often it just creeps up on you, leaving you without any joy, happiness or motivation in life. Sometimes there may be an identifiable cause for your depression, other times there's no obvious reason for it.
Depression is also surprisingly common: 1 in 5 of us will suffer significant depression at some point in their life and around 1 in 12 adults are suffering from depression, to some degree, at any point in time. Depression affects both men and women, though women are twice as likely to suffer from depression as men. It can be seasonal, becoming more common and / or more severe during the Autumn and Winter months. Depression also runs in families. If you have a parent who suffered with severe depression you're twelve times more likely to suffer yourself.
What can I do?
You hay have been told, to "snap out of it". If only it was that simple. You can't "snap out of it", any more than you can snap out of a broken leg. It just doesn't work.
There are also things you can do to help yourself, however. These include
- keeping active
- eating well
- avoiding alcohol (and cannabis)
- maintaining social contacts
Simply talking with others can make a massive difference. At times it's enough to talk with friends or family, but you may feel you need professional help.
Counselling provides a place you can "get it off your chest" without feeling like you're a burden to friends and family. It helps you see things more clearly, putting them into perspective.
It can also help you identify and unhelpful ways of thinking, then develop new, more helpful, ways of thinking and behaving. If your depression is related to your relationship with your partner, it may be helpful for you to come as a couple.
Whatever your situation, why not give us a call on 0151 601 2145 to discuss your needs?