Deression is not the same as sadness. Sadness is a universal feeling. We experience sadness when we are grieving, dissapointed, feeling rejected or hurt. So sadness is a feeling that moves in and out of our lives fluidly. However, sadness is not constant and not pervasive like depression. Sadness doesn't affect our overall health, energy levels or the purpose and meaning that we give to our lives. Sadness may affect our ability to live life fully for a time, but generally it passes. Depression is the imposter that invades every aspect of our lives and being.
Symptoms of depression include:
- Lasting low mood and anxiety
- Difficulties with focus or concentration
- Sleeplessness or over sleeping
- Disinterest in once favoured activities
- Feelings of guilt or despair
- Restlessness or impaired activity
- Change in appetite with weight gain or loss
- Thoughts of death or suicidal thoughts
A depressive episode is indicated if one experiences five or more of these symptoms over a period of two weeks or more.
These are the symptoms of depression not the experience, read on...
What depression feels like:
- Life seems meaningless
- Nothing feels right in your life
- You cry at anything - things that seem insignificant and would never have upset you in the past
- You just want to be left alone
- Getting up everyday is a struggle
- You're moving in slow motion - like wading through quicksand
- Sleep is a respite
- No amount of sleep alleviates the exhaustion
- Everybody and everything irritates you
- You have an overwhelming sense that something terriible is going to happen
- You experience powerlessness
- Making decisions seems impossible
- You feel frustrated because you can't seem to do anything right
- You have difficulty concentrating - you can't focus on things that need your attention
- You feel guilty, worried and anxious
- You feel like you're in a bubble surrounded by fog and you're looking at the world through dirty lenses
- Your thinking is fuzzy and skewed towards negativity
- You're afraid, you're afraid, you're afraid that it will get worse
Depressive illness is silent and not visiible to the naked eye. Frustratingly, it does'nt respond to logic or platitudes. Proglonged depression affects our self-esteem and self worth. If you or some-one you know is experiencing what feels like depression, please visit your G.P. Delay making important decisions. Avoid alcohol or recreational drug use. Talk to some-one, get some social support. There is "no one size fits all" approach to recovery. Educate yourself on all of the treatments available; counselling, medication, lifestyle changes etc. and decide what is best for you.
Disclaimer: This article is informational only and not to be taken as a diagnosis, treament or advice which can only be given by your G.P.