Am I Depressed? What To Do?
Living with depression can be hell, we start asking questions we thought we would never ask.
am i depressed ? do i have depression ? why am i depressed ?
We begin to research for the signs of depression, before finally settling on the fact thay we may be really depressed.
Don’t ever think that you are struggling alone or that something is wrong with you, in the very opposite, you are lucky to have this experience and live this dark chapter of your book.
All this will make you wiser confident person in the future.
If you survive depression and nothing will stop you from accomplishing your dreams.
Don’t panic, we have the solution!
Signs of Depression
Depression is one of those subjects which most people don’t understand, or simply want to avoid. Unfortunately, this has been the attitude towards many mental health issues over the years. In present times however, there has been a change towards becoming more educated about this disease.
The difficulty most people have is that it is not an obvious physical ailment. They simply don’t get what depression is. It is not simply having an off day and feeling a bit down. It is not something that is controllable by the individual with it.
It is a life altering disease. As one lady, who has had both cancer and depression, put it, “Give me cancer any day”.
This statement should really highlight the difficulty those with this disease face.
Let’s look at some of the signs of this disease:
- Difficulty concentrating or focusing on things
- Difficulty remembering details
- Difficulty making decisions
- Fatigue/Loss of energy
- Loss of interest in activities which were once enjoyable
- Overeating/Appetite loss
- Persistent sad, anxious or empty feelings.
- Feelings of worthlessness, guilt and pessimism
- Suicidal thoughts/attempts
These are all signs of depression, and if any of these symptoms start appearing in your life, or a friends life, then you need to see a doctor to discuss them. One of these symptoms in isolation does not necessarily equal depression, but having a doctor to discuss them with, can help assess the situation.
Depressive thoughts : i’m depressed, i’m sad, i feel depressed, i’m lonely
Other behavioural patterns that might change are as follows :
- Depressed people tend to isolate themselves
- They can start crying for no reason. They don’t even understand why it happens, as it can come out of nowhere.
- Feeling isolated even among friends
- Feeling nothing inside
- Feeling as though nothing matters – you can’t even appreciate a nice sunset for example.
What Causes Depression ?
With all these feelings going on you would think there must be a reason, right?
Well one of the biggest difficulties with depression, is that there is no one reason why it happens.
- It could be genetic,
- It could be due to trauma,
- It could be due to a previous incident years before,
- It could be due to drug or alcohol misuse.
There are a number of factors that integrate to make the disease we know as depression. There are usually a mixture of the above causes.
While it is said to be a chemical imbalance in the brain, that is a vast over simplification of what it is. To illustrate, consider the following example.
Imagine you have large glass jar. In it are a thousand different chemicals. The solution is currently black. You know that simply by adding the correct amount of one chemical you can turn the solution clear. You don’t know the quantity, or even or which chemical you require.
This is essentially what’s going on in your brain. The normal function, which produces the right level, of the exact chemical your brain needs, is impaired. Antidepressants are an attempt to help restore the balance.
The reason they don’t work for everyone, is that each of our brains is unique. There will be small chemical differences in each of us, which means that different results will be produced by the same antidepressant.
So does this mean if you have depression it is essentially a death sentence to a happy life?
It may be very difficult at times, and you may feel as if everything is crashing around you, but you can beat this.
Let’s look at some practical ways to get both help with depression, and to help yourself.
How To Fight Depression ?
Understanding yourself and dealing with depression from day to day…
Depression at its worst is extremely difficult to deal with. But it is not permanent. It is treatable and with the right kind of treatment, it can have its effects lessened, or even cured.
So when you are having a bad day, how do you cope?
Well the reality is, that it’s up to you. But let me give some options that will help as I know how difficult decision making is when you are depressed.
If you can manage it, get up and do something. It doesn’t need to be a huge task, in fact better would be a small simple task. Doing the dishes for example. Give the kitchen worktops a quick 5 minute clean.
Make sure that, if you can, you have a shower or, just a quick clean at the sink. Routine is extremely important in helping combat depression.
If you can, go for a walk and get some fresh air.
If all the above just feels like too much, I hear you. Simply flop on the couch, and watch a film, or some TV, etc. Heck, you got out of bed, that’s a start.
Do not be hard on yourself because you don’t feel mentally up to a task. It is not your fault you have developed depression. The best remedy for depression is kindness. Both from others and more importantly, yourself.
You will get to a stage where you know something has to be done, and if you coax yourself you will find you can do it. But if you tear yourself apart with criticism, or others do it for you, you will never get there.
Depression is not unbeatable, it just requires management and patience, mainly with yourself. You can beat it and have a normal life. Think about some of the things mentioned in this article and try them. You will find the way that works for you.
Blogging is a therapy, used by many people to express themselves and share their experiences and daily struggles anonymously with a large, active audience that interacts and gives feedback and motivation.
It is like sharing your personal journal with the world, anonymously.
You are probably wondering « how are these blogs being found ? »
Simple, just like you found this page, search engines and social media.
These are two famous depression blogs :
Blue Light Blue, is where Monica Marlow blogs about the loss of her father to suicide and her dealing with depression and anxiety. Her personal and provoking content is one of the best things on the internet.
Daisies And Bruises, Erin discovered her depression at the age of 16, after a long journey of treatment and help, she uses her blog to share her experiences. She blogs about the importance of showing compassion rather than pity, creation over perfection and her decision to go off medication.
To be honest, anyone that has something to share with the rest of the world, has to get his own blog as soon as possible.
Hostgator allows you to run your own blog, very cheap and so easy to create, even a toddler can do it.
Another area of your life where you can help yourself is in your diet.
There are a number of foods known to cause, or amplify depression. The more you know about these the better. The following list gives a selection of foods which are to be avoided.
- Sugar – The sweet tooth has to go. In studies this has been shown to increase the likelihood of depression
- Artificial Sweeteners – These block the serotonin which stabilizes your mood. With depression that is a no no.
- Trans Fats – Essentially any form of highly processed cooking fats/oils. You want cold pressed oils like coconut or olive oil. Avoid ready meals and deep fried foods.
- Caffeine – This can contribute to depression and anxiety. Avoid coffee, tea and especially energy drinks for this reason.
- Alcohol – This is a central nervous system depressant. Enough said.
- Salty foods – These can cause problems with neurological systems, i.e. your brain functions.
Ok, enough about what is bad for you, now lets look at foods that can help fight depression.
- Oily Fish
- Low fat Dairy
- Whole grain foods
- Green Tea
So, pretty much anything that is not processed. Good wholesome foods without unnecessary added extras. This may seem boring, but it will help your mental and physical health.
Note that all these foods are subjective to some degree. Remember what I said about the complexity of the chemicals? You will need to see what you can and cannot have, but at least you will have some ideas from the lists. And remember, having a life where you want to get up in the morning, has to be better than eating junk food and feeling suicidal.
The author of this e-book is a sociology professor in the university of The Hague, Netherlands.
Depressed for a long time before discovering this method, he preaches the dangers of antidepressants and the importance of investing in the mindset to beat depression using secret techniques that you will discover in this e-book.
Destroy Depression book is not as famous as the best sellers on Amazon, but it is currently being used by doctors of Europe instead of the traditional prescriptions.
We were not surprised when we found translated copies of Depression Free Method in countries like France, Spain and Austria.
This e-book is an eye opener, but you have to be consistent.
Don’t be fooled by the shiny design, the content is gold.
Helping someone with Depression
Someone who is being affected by depression does not need lectures. They do not need to be told to get up and get on with it. They do not need to be told they are useless and need to get off their backside.
Anyone, and I mean anyone, that talks to you like that when you are depressed and struggling with life, needs to be shut out of your life. They are just going to make you feel worse and drag you down further, potentially to suicide.
When you, or someone you know is depressed, you/they need a supportive friend or family member. Whether it is to help do some tasks in the house, or simply to have a shoulder to cry on, it helps.
The worst thing you can do is isolate yourself when you are depressed in most cases. Having someone to talk to and reassure you that you are worth something is a lifesaver. In the case where you are alone, then have a trusted friend who understands the situation, talk over the phone or skype, etc.
If you are in a situation you where you cannot get a friend of family member to help, then use the public services available. A few examples of these are listed below.
Breathing Space, Samaritans, Association for Post Natal Illness and Health in Mind
In the worst case scenario, where you just can’t deal with life any more, you must phone 999, and get an ambulance.
In addition to the family and friends being a support, you are going to need professional help with your depression. Medication is one route which works to some degree. Unfortunately you will need to find what works for you as an individual and this takes time.
In addition to medication, if you have had some sort of trauma in your life, then you can get counselling. While talking openly with someone may seem daunting, it can be a release valve for your emotions.
These actions in themselves can help you get to the point where you are living a relatively normal life. You will still have bad days, but you will cope better and be able to get perspective on them.