Depression is a common problem that many people will experience at some point. If you are depressed you may experience some of the following signs or symptoms:
Emotions or feelings:
- Feeling sad, guilty, upset, numb or despairing.
- Losing interest and/or enjoyment in things.
- Crying a lot or feeling unable to cry.
- Feeling alone even if you are in company.
- Lack of energy
- Sleep problems
- Feeling worse at a particular time of day.
- Changes in appetite, eating and weight.
- Losing confidence in yourself.
- Expecting the worst, having negative or gloomy thoughts.
- Thinking that everything seems hopeless.
- Thoughts of suicide.
- Thinking you hate yourself.
- Poor memory or concentration.
Depression can make it difficult for you to do ordinarily simple things and stop you from carrying out your normal activities. You may cut yourself off or withdraw from other people and spend a lot of your time doing nothing.
There are things you can do to help yourself overcome depression:
- Do something active, physical activity is particularly helpful like a walk, run, cycle or skip. Physical activity for a period of twenty minutes can energise you and make you feel less tired.
- Talk to others; try to tell those you are close to how you are feeling. They may be able to listen and help you think things through. You may be surprised to find that those you talk to may also have experienced depression and can understand how you are feeling.
- Look after yourself; avoid alcohol and drugs as a coping mechanism, these will eventually lead to further physical and psychological problems. Eat well; a good balanced diet can help nourish you promote good health and hasten recovery.
- Challenge negative thinking; don’t allow gloomy thoughts to go unchallenged.
- Identify when your mood is very low.
- Write down what unpleasant thoughts you are having during that time.
- Counter these thoughts by writing down arguments against them.
- Keep a diary of the things you have enjoyed in the last week, this helps you focus on the good things.
- Practice mindfulness or other relaxation techniques