Originally posted on Decemer 19, 2009
Are you feeling “blue”? Do you cry a lot with no apparent reason? Did your appetite change? Feeling “blue” every now and then is a normal part of life. But when ‘feeling blue” becomes feelings of emptiness and despair that does not go away, it may be depression. Depression makes it tough to enjoy life as you did in the past. It effects relationships with family and friends. Hobbies and interests are not as it used to be. Feelings of hopelessness and helplessness are present.
Depression has many faces. It can be from mild to severe. We all go through ups and downs in our moods. Experiencing disappointments and set backs will make people sad. This kind of depression is situational and very normal. However, depression is much more then sadness. Some people describe it like living in a black hole, feeling empty and lifeless. They don’t feel sadness. They feel apathetic and have feelings of impending doom. Whatever the symptoms are, it engulfs their day-to-day life. The ability to work, enjoy a personal life, study and have fun is gone.
If you identify with several of the following symptoms and they won’t go away, you may be suffering from clinical depression:
• Your sleep pattern changed. You sleep too much or you can’t sleep at all. • Tasks that you could do with ease previously are now difficult. • You can’t concentrate. • Your appetite changed. You eat too much or you lose your appetite. • You have feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. • You have negative thoughts and have a hard time controlling them. • You have thoughts of ending the pain and that life is not with it. IF YOU EXPERIENCE THIS SEEK HELP IMMEDIATELY!
Risk factors of depression: • Lack of social support • Recent stressful life situation • Loneliness • Family history of depression • Alcohol and drug abuse • Under-employment and unemployment • Marital or relationship problems • Chronic pain/health problems • Childhood abuse/trauma
The road to recovery …. Research has shown that the most successful treatment is a combination of therapy and medication.. However, for lower grade depression, there are things you can do.
• Seek peer support, ask for help. • Change your life style by: -getting regular exercise -getting regular sleep -practicing relaxation techniques -medication -challenge your negative thinking -cultivating supportive relationships -seek professional help