Having experienced mild depression and knowing it can arise at anytime, I wanted to do a post about how I handle my depression, especially as we come into winter, where for most people it can get worse. Being hyperactive means that I am prone to down days when I feel low, sad and removed from society. I don't always show these feelings to others (the tough one) but have learnt how to understand the black dog a little more. I have been lucky to understand how my mild depression works and ways I can limit those dark days when the black dog comes to visit and even though he comes to visit from time to time I find a way to use those days to re-evaluate and work through my feelings.
Know one thing, depression is common, more common than you think. It isn't a weakness and it should be something that needs to be talked about. It can happen at any point in your life and when everything seems to be going very well, triggers can happen and you might not notice them. Don't shrug it off thinking things will be fine.
Here are some of the symptoms, thoughts and feelings a person may experience with depression. I know I have a couple of the symptoms, I rarely get the thoughts though anymore as I can recognise the symptoms and know how I can stop the negative thoughts by replacing them with positive thoughts, actions and surrounding myself with people who make me feel alive.
The things I have learnt is how important it is to take time out for yourself. How important it is to have good friends and family to support you through thick and thin (not just the fun times). I know I can always call my mum and have a chat about anything and it always makes me feel better. I know if I give myself some downtime to enjoy simple things (reading a book, catching up with a friend) I can just relax my mind, escape from the hyper thoughts going on, the pressures I put on myself to achieve things and just be. Yoga for me is something that has become weekly therapy. I make the time to have at least 1 hour minimum a week for yoga, to stretch, unwind
Behavioural symptoms of depression
A person with depression may:
- have stopped going out
- not be getting things done at work or school
- be withdrawing from close family and friends
- be relying on alcohol and sedatives
- have stopped their usual enjoyable activities
- be unable to concentrate.
Thoughts caused by depression
A person with depression may have thoughts such as:
- ‘I’m a failure.’
- ‘It’s my fault.’
- ‘Nothing good ever happens to me.’
- ‘I’m worthless.’
- ‘Life’s not worth living.’
- ‘People would be better off without me.’.
Feelings caused by depression
A person with depression may feel:
- lacking in confidence
Physical symptoms of depression
A person with depression may experience:
- feeling sick and ‘run down’
- headaches and muscle pains
- churning gut
- sleep problems
- loss or change of appetite
- significant weight loss or gain.