We all feel fed up, miserable and sad at times.
These feelings don’t usually last longer than a week or two and they don’t interfere too much with our lives. Sometimes there’s a reason, sometimes not. We usually cope – we may talk to a friend but don’t otherwise need any help.
However in depression:
- Your feelings don’t lift after a few days – they carry on for weeks or months.
- Are so bad that they interfere with your life.
Most people with depression will not have all the symptoms listed below, but most will have at least five or six.
- Feel unhappy most of the time (but may feel a little better in the evenings)
- Lose interest in life and can’t enjoy anything
- Find it harder to make decisions
- Can’t cope with things that you used to
- Feel utterly tired
- Feel restless and agitated
- Lose appetite and weight (some people find they do the reverse and put on weight)
- Take 1-2 hours to get off to sleep, and then wake up earlier than usual
- Lose interest in sex
- Lose your self-confidence
- Feel useless, inadequate and hopeless
- Avoid other people
- Feel irritable
- Feel worse at a particular time each day, usually in the morning
- Think of suicide
You may not realise how depressed you are for a while, especially if it has come on gradually. It sometimes takes a friend or a partner to persuade you that there really is a problem which can be helped.
As with our everyday feelings of low mood, there will sometimes be an obvious reason for becoming depressed, sometimes not. It can be a disappointment, a frustration, or that you have lost something – or someone – important to you. There is often more than one reason, and these will be different for different people. They include: bereavement, loneliness, stress, physical illness.
Exploring Your Depression Treatment Options
Just as no two people are affected the exact same way by depression, there is no “one size fits all” treatment that cures depression. What works for one person might not work for another.
Therapy will help you to understand the underlying causes of your personal depression and explore how your feelings, thoughts and behaviour may be adversely contributing to your low mood. Together you will develop strategies – a ‘tool-kit’ that will help you to manage your low mood now and for the longer term.