"Listen to the people who love you. Believe that they are worth living for even when you don't believe it. Seek out the memories depression takes away and project them into the future. Be brave; be strong" - Andrew Solomon
One in three people struggle with depression at one point in their lives. Depression has many faces, such as seasonal depression, clinical depression, postpartum depression, or bipolar disorder. It can affect many aspects of everyday life: sleep, appetite, concentration, and motivation. It is a complex disorder that involves many systems of the body, e.g. immune system, mood and emotions, cognition. Depression causes pain for both, those with the disorder, and those who care about them. Depression is increasingly common in children.
Everyone experiences occasional mood changes but major depression is a more pervasive experience that cannot be completely controlled by the person. People with depression cannot “shake it off” or “put themselves together”. However, there is HOPE for people with depression, it is highly treatable and treatment can bring a positive outcome; depression forces people to change their perception; to notice and solve problems; to change lifestyle; to set priorities. At the same time, we need to remember that people who suffer from depression have a hard time to see the “positives”. This is why seeking help is extremely important; counsellor can provide support and bring hope.
Major Depression: What Are the Symptoms?
Depression can be experienced in different ways but the common depression symptoms are:
Feeling of depression, sadness, emptiness; appearing sad to others
Feeling of worthlessness or excessive guilt
Affected appetite, significant weight loss or gain
Loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed
Excessive sleeping or insomnia
Irritable mood: restlessness or irritation (possible symptom in adolescents and children)
Loss of energy, fatigue
Difficulty concentrating and thinking
Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide
Depression Treatment: When Should I Get Help?
If five or more of the above symptoms persist for most of the day, nearly every day for at least two weeks, and the symptoms are severe enough to interfere with daily activities, it might be major depression.
It is better not to wait until the symptoms are too overwhelming and severely interfere with your daily functioning. Your Well-being is extremely important; it affects your life but also the life of people around you, those who you love: your partner, your children, parents and siblings; of those who you work with.
Depression is often cyclical, and early treatment may prevent future episodes. Many studies show that the most effective treatment is cognitive behavioral therapy, which addresses problematic thought patterns, with or without the use of antidepressantdrugs.
Clients are shown how to identify the “labels”: it is the way they view themselves.
They are taught to notice their thoughts, to recognize distorted, irrational, and maladaptive thoughts.
They learn how these irrational thoughts affect their emotions and well-being.
They are given tools to substitute negative thoughts with positive ones.
The new thoughts influence person’s emotions in a positive way.
Our thoughts influence our emotions and vice versa. Another important factor that influences our emotions is behavior. This is why it is extremely important to exercise and to focus on a healthy diet. The effort at the beginning should be simple and easily attainable; we can go for a walk, go down and up the stairs, do some laundry, prepare a smoothie and drink it...
The journey of healing does not have to be a lonely journey. Support from family, friends, and a counsellor is essential.
Healing the Whole Person
Depression can be a symptom of an underlying problem. It can express the anger you feel that you do not have the right to have. It can express hopelessness… One of the answers could be deciding to go beyond other people’s fears and limitations.
I CREATE MY LIFE
Here are some words for POSITIVE and NEGATIVE FEELINGS. You can choose the feelings that you feel now and write down the positive feelings that you are feeling now or that you would like to have.