Why depression is not recognized
- You think that feeling so tired, stressed and "bad" is normal.
- You want to be independent and “do it” on your own.
- You judge yourself as being weak or lazy if you are depressed.
- You want to avoid being judged by others. They say to you - "just pull yourself together" or "think positive" and often do not understand.
- Physical problems seem easier and quicker to treat - aches and pains, headaches, tension, exhaustion, nausea, stomach problems... These are often signs of a deeper cause - depression. It is easier to avoid the root of the problem - depression and anxiety.
- It is too much effort. Lethargy, exhaustion, procrastination and the inability to find solutions and a lack of hope for the future are some symptoms of depression.
So many people struggle with their lives, relationships, family and work because of depression. This is sad because there are real possibilities of working effectively with different types of depression.
10 Main Symptoms of Depression
- Feeling miserable
- Weeping alot
- Worry and anxiety
- Loss of memory and lack of concentration
- Disturbed sleep (or wanting to sleep all the time)
- Tired and exhausted
- Everything is an effort
- There is no joy or hope for the future
- Feeling irritable and snappy
- Life is so painful and difficult we don't want to be around
If you are suffering from depression for the first time, you are young, the depression is mild, and your life circumstances are improving, you have a good support system, then you may find the depression lifts over time.However, if you are older, have experienced depression before, the depressive episode is more severe this time, and your life circumstances are stressful (and may be for sometime), then not doing anything about depression COULD lead to increasingly severe and repeated bouts of depression.
This could end up negatively affecting all aspects of your life, such as family life, relationships, work, health, finance etc.
You are not to be blamed for being depressed, but you are responsible for doing something about it.
Treatment of depression
The good news is that depression can be treated and managed. You are not to be blamed for being depressed or low, but you are responsible for doing something about it. There is no need to stay miserable and down. This is not the norm. With support and information, you can start to make constructive changes in your life.It is helpful to have an assessment to determine if you are struggling with depression. A Clinical Psychologist can assist you with this.Therapy and counselling are recommended as the first steps.Depression can be caused & exacerbated by many factors, such as: stress, relationships, loneliness, separation/divorce, work, uncertainty about your future, children, marriage, an inability to express yourself, low self esteem, lack of self assertiveness, a family history of depression etc.A key approach to treatment is to understand, then address the REASONS why you are feeling depressed.
- Learn to understand what the symptoms of depression are, and how it effects you
- Start to understand how we “get” depression (there could be at least 8 reasons why…)
- Start to explore the reasons WHY you are stressed / depressed
- Explore alternative ways of coping, and discuss and learn practical life skills
- Offload your worries and anxieties in “a safe place”, where a professional person is objective and caring, and confidentiality is assured
- Work through some of the related emotions and issues with support
Often, depression is not just something we can “snap out of”, or just “pull ourselves together”.
Not everyone needs to take medication, especially if the depression is mild. For more severe depression, research indicates that the best long term outcome is a combination of counselling/therapy and anti-depressant medication.Some people prefer to try more natural medications/homeopathy as a first step.One indication for considering anti-depressant medication is when your daily life is being badly affected by depression.
For example, it is getting harder to get out of bed in the mornings, work is more difficult, relationships start to suffer and arguments increase.
Sometimes you may have to weigh up the consequences of not going onto medication… but of course it is essential to get good information before making this decision
Some people are scared that going on medication is a sign of weakness – but if we had high blood pressure etc, we would be more open to taking the appropriate medication. And of course managing one’s life style (eating habits, exercise, relationships, boundary setting etc) is an essential part of managing depression and anxiety.
Anti-depressant medication is not addictive as some people fear – unlike some tranquilizers/sleeping pills. Are you aware of the difference?
If you would like to explore whether you are suffering from some form of depression and/or anxiety, or would like to find out more about this, please feel welcome to make an appointment.