We all go through spells of feeling down, but when you’re depressed, you feel persistently sad for weeks or months rather than just a few days.
Some people still think that depression is trivial and not a genuine health condition. They’re wrong.
Depression is a real illness with real symptoms, and it’s not a sign of weakness or something you can ‘snap out of’ by ‘pulling yourself together’.
The good news is that with the right treatment and support, most people can make a full recovery from depression.
How to tell if you have depression
Depression affects people in many different ways and can cause a wide variety of symptoms.
They range from lasting feelings of sadness and hopelessness to losing interest in the things you used to enjoy and feeling very tearful or anxious.
There can be physical symptoms too such as feeling constantly tired, sleeping badly, having no appetite or sex drive and complaining of various aches and pains.
The severity of the symptoms can vary.
At its mildest, you may simply feel persistently low in spirit, while at its most severe, depression can make you feel suicidal and that life is no longer worth living.
It’s important to seek help from your GP if you think you may be depressed.
If you’ve been feeling low for more than a few days, take this short test to find out if you could be suffering from Depression
Many people wait a long time before seeking help for depression, but it’s best not to delay.
The sooner you see a doctor, the sooner you can be on the way to recovery.
Sometimes there is a trigger for depression.
Life-changing events, such as bereavement, or losing your job or even having a baby, can bring it on.
People with a family history of depression are also more likely to experience depression themselves.
But you can also become depressed for no obvious reason.
Some Symptoms Of Depression
The symptoms of depression can be complex.
If you are depressed, you often lose interest in things you used to enjoy.
Depression commonly interferes with your work, social life and family life.
There are many other symptoms, which can be psychological, physical and social.
Psychological symptoms include:
▪ continuous low mood or sadness
▪ feelings of hopelessness and helplessness
▪ low self-esteem
▪ feelings of guilt
▪ feeling irritable and intolerant of others
▪ lack of motivation and little interest in things
▪ difficulty making decisions
▪ lack of enjoyment
▪ suicidal thoughts or thoughts of harming yourself
▪ feeling anxious or worried
▪ reduced sex drive
Physical symptoms include:
▪ slowed movement or speech
▪ change in appetite or weight (usually decreased, but sometimes increased)
▪ unexplained aches and pains
▪ lack of energy or lack of interest in sex
▪ changes to the menstrual cycle
▪ disturbed sleep patterns (for example, problems going to sleep or waking in the early hours of the morning)
Social symptoms include:
▪ not doing well at work
▪ taking part in fewer social activities and avoiding contact with friends
▪ reduced hobbies and interests
▪ difficulties in home and family life
It can take some time to recognise that you may be depressed.
Depression may come on gradually and some people continue to deal with the symptoms without recognising them.
It can take a friend or family member to suggest that something is wrong.
Grief and depression
Even though grief and depression share many of the same characteristics, there are important differences between them.
Grief is an entirely natural response to a loss, while depression is an illness.
However, sometimes it can be hard to distinguish between feelings of grief and depression.
People who are grieving find that feelings of loss and sadness come and go, but they are still able to enjoy things and look forward to the future.
However, people who are depressed have a constant feeling of sadness.
They do not enjoy anything and have little sense of a positive future.
Contact JTR Hypnotherapy
If you’d like to arrange for an initial consultation at my clinic, or if you have any queries that you’d like me to answer, then you can e-mail me, or if you’d prefer, you can fill out my online-enquiry form.