If you are suffering from depression, you are not alone.
Depression affects many people at some time in their life, with some of us going through periods of depression that can lift after a very short time, while for others, it can be ingoing for many years.
Whichever category you fall into, here are some simple tips to help you manage your depression.
Depression - What is it?
Depression is best identified as feeling in a low mood. It may not stop you leading a normal life, but things may seem less worthwhile.
Most of us will admit to feeling depressed from time to time and this is perfectly normal.
Depression becomes a problem when it interferes with your day to day activities.
What Causes Depression?
Depression may be caused by an imbalance of chemicals in the brain or can be triggered by significant life events including:-
o A traumatic experience, such as rape or physical attack
o Childhood events
o Frequent use of recreational drugs
How Do I Know if I am Depressed?
Symptoms of depression may include:-
o Preoccupation with negative thoughts
o Difficulty in concentrating
o Feeling in a low mood most of the time
o Feelings of numbness, emptiness or despair
o Low self-esteem
o Lack of sex drive
o Lack of confidence
o Pessimistic view of the future
This is no a definitive list and you may experience all or some of these symptoms.
You may also notice changes in your sleeping pattern, your eating habits, or there may be a rise in your alcohol or tobacco consumption.
Depression - Helping Yourself
Knowledge is power. The more you learn about depression, the better equipped you will be to deal with it.
Go to the library, do some research on the internet or join a self-help group where you can gather information about depression and the treatments available.
Being aware of the choices available to you will help you to make an informed choice about treatment if you need to seek help from your healthcare provider.
Whereas many of us may experience bouts of mild depression or low mood, clinical depression is a serious medical condition and if you have been experiencing symptoms described above for some time you should seek medical help as soon as possible.
Depression - Don't Suffer in Silence
While clinical depression is a serious illness, it can be treated and you do not need to feel ashamed, embarrassed or suffer in silence.
Some people allow depression to go untreated for years but clinical depression will not disappear by itself.
Professional help may include a course of antidepressants together with some counseling.
Depression - Help Yourself
Helplessness is a feeling often experienced by people with depression.
Together with professional help try and help yourself.
o Stay focused - depression can feed on itself and you can find yourself trapped in a vicious circle of negative thoughts that it seems impossible to get out of. Focus on positive thought and the positive things in your life. If you can't think of any, think of a positive goal you would like to achieve.
o Avoid your own company - depression feeds on loneliness. Try and break the hold that depression has on you. Join a club or self-help group where you can talk to people who have successfully overcome depression.
o Do something worthwhile. Keeping yourself busy will give you less time to dwell on pessimistic thoughts. Take up a hobby or why not join a gym. Regular exercise will have a mental and physical impact on your wellbeing.
o Let go of the past. Many of us make the mistake of hanging on to past hurts and this too can cause depression. If there are things in your life that have caused you upset, past grudges, guilt or anger, perhaps it is time to let go.
Depression is not an easy thing to overcome but it can be done, all you have to do is make he decision to make a change.