Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Is Depression Getting You Down?

There is often a misconception around Depression with people believing that it's simply feeling a bit down in the dumps.
A lot of people feel sad and throw around the word depression.
"The shop didn't have my fave chocolate, I'm so depressed"
"This weather is so depressing"
"This song always makes me so depressed"

Clinical depression is so much more than that.
In our lives we should all expect to have ups and downs but depression is a constant drag on your life and can leave you feeling sad and distraught for weeks...even months.
Depression is a mental health issue that impacts on your physical being too.
It can also have an impact on your working and social life.

Symptoms of depression can vary in severity. They also vary from person to person so don't expect to have all of the symptoms. Even if you notice a few, it can be a cause for concern.
Some symptoms can include:

  • low mood
  • low self esteem
  • feeling guilty
  • being tearful
  • no motivation
  • high anxiety
  • suicidal thoughts
  • thought of self harm
  • insomnia
  • lack of energy
  • unexplained aches and pains

Depression does have branches like most mental health problems.
You can have post-natal depression which occurs when a woman has just had a baby. It can really impact on your bond with the baby and how you feel about yourself and your situation.
There is also Seasonal Affective Disorder which can also be called winter depression. It happens with the onset of the cold miserable weather. 
Another is Bipolar Disorder. Previously known as manic depression, bipolar has spells of deep depression mixed with high mania. 

It's very important that you see your GP if you think you may have any signs or symptoms of depression. You can be helped and there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

You are not weak because you have reached out for help. You are so incredibly brave!
The stigma on mental health is only maintained because of us. We don't have to feel ashamed over something we can't control and didn't choose. 
One thing we can control is the stigma everyone else holds. If you don't give the power over to those ignorant minds, they have nothing that can hurt you.
Hold your head up high because you're getting there. 
No matter how slowly, as long as you're moving forward then you're doing really well. 

There are several treatments available for anyone suffering with depression so don't feel like you're on your own with this.

Forums can be a great help if you need to talk to someone going through the same thing as you or if you have questions that only people suffering can answer. 
Patient.co.uk have a good forum full of health discussions for all ages. 
Don't rely on the forums for self diagnosis or complete support because that isn't the way forward.

There's also evidence that improving your lifestyle can really help if you're suffering from mild depression. Increasing your exercise, drinking plenty of water and improving your diet can be really helpful to help you recover and regain some of yourself again. 

Talking therapies are highly recommended when it comes to depression. These are things like Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or Psychotherapy. Your GP might refer you or you can refer yourself through local centres or phone assessments. You can visit therapy groups which should be available on your local NHS or you can join a waiting list for one on one therapy (which took only 6 weeks for me).

One people tend to shy away from is medication. Anti-depressants can be really helpful and do support you through the hardest times. Many people are afraid of the side effects but in my personal experience, the benefits seriously outweigh any effects you may have.
Some tablets work better than others but persevere and find the right one for you because you will not regret it. The first one I tried made me feel like I'd landed on another planet...it was very weird. I went back to the GP and changed them. They really worked through my deep spells of depression and definitely helped ease the feelings of despair.

If you need help or advice, visit http://www.mind.org.uk/. Their website is full of information and support for anyone going through mental health problems.

If you need someone to talk to I'm happy to help you in any way I can. Send me a little email at loubeeloublogs@gmail.com or you can fill out the contact form on the side of my blog post.
I will always reply and will always be here.
You are not alone.

Thanks for reading
Loubee Lou

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