UNDERSTANDING DEPRESSION

So what is depression?

Does everything seem bleak or dull? 
Do you just want to be by yourself?
Do you feel you can't deal with anyone or anything? 
Do you feel as if there's no point to life? 
Do you feel you are in a black hole you just can't climb out of?
Or is your daily life just one long uphill struggle?


If you answered yes to any of the above, then you could be suffering more than just the normal ups and downs of life or what is considered a 'normal' grieving process and/or there may be no reason which you can find.


Imagine there's no Heaven: it's easy if you try!  No hell below us, above us only blue sky
(lyrics John Lennon - Imagine)

Imagine ... ... finding words to describe images, blue, black, up, down, space, vacuum, precipice, endless, no beginning and no end.  Imagine finding feeling words, unhappy, sad, tired, fatigued, helpless or hopeless even, maybe guilty, worthless, heavy cold and empty.  If we found some behaviour to go with these images and feelings we might be preoccupied, indecisive, irritable, restless uninterested or frustrated and angry.  You know we could even use the word disconnected and scared.  ‘What if’ we took some single words, built a few phrases which states I'm useless, I’m a failure, I can’t do anything right and I’m a poor excuse for a human being. 

Just words I hear you say although rather gloomy and derogatory, all words are important though aren’t they!  Words communicate, tell who and what we are, along with images in part facilitate understanding about our internal world and about our Self.   Symbols in the way of words and images help one’s Self to communicate and connect with Self and others enabling survival in a fast moving external world. 

Just imagine if you could not articulate words, or you used all these words to describe your world ..... your life .... Your Self!  Collectively along with many more utterances this is the language, the culture which is formed, fixed internalized used and believed by people affected with what the medical profession and the field of counselling psychology labels depression! 


Photo credit Pixabay

If you are suffering with such symptoms, then you may be suffering with depression 

Depression is more than feeling unhappy or feeling blue it is an emotional illness which can affect anyone at any time in their life.  When we suffer the death of a loved one or aspects of our self-following a traumatic event, illness, disability or Childhood sexual abuse for example we are said to be grieving.  Grief comes in waves, there are black days when it feels or seems that nothing will go right for us again, many fear if we allow our depression to become known to our self it will overwhelm or engulf us completely and keeping our head just above the precept may become our existence.  If you find yourself feeling down, tired ˜as if" you can't be bothered with your daily living more days than you feel ready to engaged in life this may indicate that you are also suffering depression.  Grief has many causes it's not confined to the death of a loved one.... however, it is caused grief is painful enough without the symptoms of depression. 

Depression may not have an obvious cause and sometimes this is described as clinical depression which is believed to be a chemical imbalance

If you are experiencing several of these symptoms for any length of time or for more than two weeks continuous then it may be constructive to your well-being to visit your Doctor to be checked out. 



Common symptoms of depression:

  • Major downward drift in mood – you feel sad, blue, down in the dumps under a cloud most days.
  • Sleep disturbances – difficulty in falling asleep, sleeping endlessly or waking several times nightly or early in the morning. 
  • Agitation and lethargy – feeling restless or slowed down in your mental or physical activities or to the point other have begun to notice.
  • Fatigued - you feel tired all the time, it is difficult to drag yourself out of bed in the morning, you have no energy everything is an effort or you feel exhausted most days all day. 
  • Feeling worthless or guilty - your self esteem/confidence has hit rock bottom - you feel guilty at letting others down or you feel you will never accept the loss of your loved one.
  • Difficulty concentrating – your mind is foggy, muddled, you can’t think straight you continually find it hard to focus on any one task because you are preoccupied with worry.
  • Difficulty making decisions – simple tasks such as what to wear or what to eat can seem daunting.
  • Asking what is the point? – you feel hopeless about the future or you withdraw into a ‘cocoon’ of silence or misery. 
  • Your appetite has changed – either not eating or eating to excess, you have lost or gained weight
  • You have lost the capacity to experience pleasure – everything is a bother and nothing seems worth doing
  • Your relationships are suffering - you are have difficulty with affection and intimacy including going off sex
  • You have forgotten what it was like not to be depressed – you believe you will never feel any different than you do now.
  • Depressive/anxious thoughts – I will never get better, I’m useless, I can’t change constantly ‘playing’ throughout the day.
  • Recurrent thoughts of death – in some cases people get suicidal ideas such as ‘life’s not worth living.  If you are experiencing any of these thoughts, you should consult your Doctor immediately.


Depression is different to anxiety although having prolonged high levels of anxiety can lead to depression.  Depression is about more than feeling down or sad people who experience it have described it “as a darkness which creeps over me draining me of all emotions sucking me dry leaving me running on empty is not sadness, its not anger, its hopelessness.  Theres no colour, or light or feeling its nothingness, it empty, numb and hollowness inside me theres nothing. 
Depression is the inability to access or be in touch with our past or construct a future, a person suffering with depression may express “it's hopeless” living a predetermined existence.  Anxiety on the other hand is the ability to be in contact with the past, unconsciously denying it perhaps whilst at the same time anticipating and predicting what the future will hold assessed on past events; a person suffering anxiety may express I can't; both avoid living in the here and now; which in reality is all any of us have.


People in emotional pain affected by depression in this New Millennium have opportunity to seek support in the form of antidepressants like Prozac, Fluoxetine and confidential Counselling Support and a combination is productive to reducing negative assumptions, increasing positive philosophies and restoring hope ... and "what if" there's no hope .....

well just imagine!



Counselling can offer you the support you may need to work through and make sense of where you are and support you to explore your feelings, thoughts, sensing, behaviour and or spirit and offer you tools for a positive future and for building resiliency to life's difficult experiences.
Don't suffer in silence or alone make contact today to discuss your needs.


Counselling for Depression

Photo credit sue @ Pendulum of peace

ALL I AM SAYING IS GIVE PEACE A CHANCE

Susan Stubbings Doncaster