We can all feel down some of the time especially when life situations and life challenges are too much to handle. If the feeling of sadness persists over time and if the normal joyful events in life do not give you comfort it may be time to seek some help.
Some of the feelings that go with depression are confusion, fear, guilt, shame and a sense of inadequacy or feeling like you are letting people down. The thoughts that go along with depression are usually self critical and you probably find it hard to concentrate on anything for long. You feel physically tired, your appetite may change, overeating or a loss of appetite. Sleep disturbance is common. You may find you sleep for a few hours and then wake up too early, and find it hard to get back to sleep. Or you may have trouble falling asleep at all.
You can find yourself with a tendency to withdraw from other people, especially if you feel irritable with them and you feel the slightest thing makes you angry or just irritable and you have a ‘short fuse’. Withdrawing from people has the effect of isolating you form life and from opportunities to have fun and to feel connected. In this place of isolation where you avoid going out with friends, people may stop asking you out because they do not want to pester you or are fed up with hearing the word no. This only confirms your negative pattern of ‘nobody wants me’ which is not true. It is vital to break this cycle of isolation. One way of starting out is to identify someone you feel comfortable with and arrange to speak to them. Surround yourself with positive and supportive people as much as you can.
You might break the pattern of inactivity by give yourself a routine for at least one week. Set the alarm clock (not too early) even if you do not have to get up. Have a breakfast of something healthy and tasty and give yourself a focus such as, visit the library or walk the dog. Physical exercise has the effect of lightening the mood and there can be a feeling of satisfaction after it. If you are physically tired by bed time you may sleep better. Try to talk to at least one person in the day and keep the conversation light. Try to choose someone who understands what you are going through so you do not have to pretend to be jolly. Wearing the mask of cheerfulness can be very wearing if you do not feel it inside.
It is hard to get motivated when you are depressed. Depression is like no other illness. For instance if you had the flu you would only plan to go out if you felt like it. Depression need to be managed the other way round. You make yourself go out in the hope that you will feel better.
If you feel you may be suffering from depression and would like to try counselling and psychotherapy, just contact me by phone, text or email, to arrange a session.