And from the darkest depths I shall emerge …
Having feelings of sadness, emptiness or hopelessness? Having suffered with depression myself I can say it is a truly dark and lonely place to be. We can be left feeling like no one can understand us or what we are going through. We can also feel like these feelings will never go away. This can lead us to isolating ourselves from those around us. Depression is a condition which affects our thinking, feelings and behaviour. It also affects our energy and we can lose interest in things we once enjoyed and can feel completely unmotivated. We can have outbursts of anger and feel irritable. Many times we have trouble sleeping at night or stay in bed during the day time. These are all indicators that we may be depressed.
Today we would like to provide some tips for dealing with depression. Firstly I would like to say that each person is unique there is no one size fits all approach. In Counselling we would explore these feelings with each person individually.
1. If you find your quality of life is affected by depression I would suggest seeking help. If you find that you have lost interest in things you used to enjoy and your social life or work life are suffering, then it may be time for you to reach out and get support from a trained mental health professional. Visit you GP and let them know how you are feeling they can suggest counselling services in your area which you can contact. Remember is ok to not be ok.
2. Reach out to friends and family and let them know how you are feeling. Having a good support network is important. Pick up the phone to friend or family member and let them know how you are feeling. If you do not have a strong support network or feel you cannot speak to friends or family you can always make a call to a Counsellor and make an appointment. You do not have to suffer alone.
3. Try to avoid self destructive behaviours like drinking alcohol or using substances. These may feel like they are offering some relief but alcohol can be a depressive and feed into the cycle of feeling depressed. You may also become dependent on these substances to deal with how you are feeling which can lead to a dual diagnosis of depression and substance abuse which can make your depression more difficult to deal with. Alcohol and other substances may also interact badly with antidepressants so always take note the warnings on medications you may be on.
4. Make a list: When we are depressed we can feel overwhelmed by things which we used to find routine like day to day tasks. Make lists this will help you to break down tasks into small manageable steps. This helps to reduce the feeling of having to much to do and becoming overwhelmed.
5.Mindfulness meditations are particularly useful in helping to prevent a relapse into depression. Regular meditation can help us to calm our minds and steady our thoughts
6. Exercise: I know when feeling depressed going for a walk may be the last thing on your mind. When we become more withdrawn and less active our depression can become more severe. Going for a short brisk walk every day for 30 mins can help release good endorphin’s in your brain and help to lift your mood slightly. Start by taking small steps, like five min walks to the local shops, build it up with a walk around the block and keep building it.
Taking the first step can be difficult as this means taking action and when we are feeling unmotivated this can be difficult but it is not impossible. We are always happy to help if you would like to pick up the phone and give me a call.
People begin to heal when they feel heard.
Phone: 085 106 9066