Depression is a low mood that lasts for a long period of time and will be affecting your everyday life. In its mildest form, depression can mean just feeling a little down, more emotional and being in low spirits. In those mild cases, it doesn’t stop you from leading your normal life but makes everything seem such an uphill battle and harder to do, also it can make it feel less worthwhile in trying to do things. At its worst and most severe levels, depression can be life-threatening, it can consume your every thought and you can even become suicidal. For all of us, we can say at times that we have been low and our mood is negative or depressed or down. Usually though, these feelings pass, our life takes a more positive turn, and we find the low mood shifting like a dark cloud being blown away and the sky starting to look clearer. Hopefully then, this keeps going and the sky continues to clear, the clouds get softer and lighter and eventually clear altogether. The sun comes out and the light shines. But for others, this is just the beginning of a steady decline in how we feel; the sadness can become overwhelming, and we struggle to cope. Many signs signal we are feeling depressed such as low mood, hopelessness, frustration with ourselves, feeling like we could cry at any moment. Other symptoms are that we feel unable to enjoy things or be motivated to do things, feel hopeless and despairing, low self-esteem, suicidal, restless, agitated or irritable. Also, you can feel guilty, worthless and down on yourself with those empty numb feelings inside and over time you can start finding it more difficult to connect with people, having a deep inner isolated feeling. As these feelings go on, we can start reaching for things in some way of self-support such as alcohol, drugs, smoking, too much or too little food, self-harming and putting ourselves in dangerous situations.
If what I am saying is resonating with you and you are experiencing this then please ask for help. The quicker we ask for help, the quicker we can start finding the solutions we need to start to see the light breaking through the clouds and find those supports we need to start shifting from this. For some of us, it’s more circumstantial and we are depressed because of what is happening to us or what has happened. If this is the case, don’t just think it will pass, it might but it also might not and there is no harm at all in asking for help. We can speak to our loved ones, the GP, one of the many helplines available online and start to find what we need. Hopefully, just the acknowledgement of how we are feeling and more support from family, friends and professionals is just what we need to start shifting from this. If we know someone is feeling this way then maybe you can reach out and offer support, don’t worry if you don’t have all the answers for them, they may just want someone to listen to them or a shoulder to cry on. If they continue to struggle, help them to seek professional help to find their way through this.
Now more than ever we are learning to express ourselves in a way that 50 years ago we wouldn’t have even thought possible. We are going through an emotional evolution and understanding how we feel can be a complicated thing. It is a time to also be more open about how we feel, you might be very surprised when you do start to be more open about how many other people have or are suffering from low mood and depression. Holding things in and ruminating on them is like a pressure cooker without the steam being let out, eventually, something is going to blow. The quicker we take the steps to change, the easier change will be, as our minds form habits and this over time can then make changing even more difficult. If you have felt a drop in your mood for whatever reason, take time for yourself and do things that help reengage you with people, life and yourself. Make plans to do fun things, get outdoors and starting to be more active can also help but if our mood keeps heading down, please do ask for help. It’s not a weak thing to do this, it’s a strong thing to do in asking for help. It takes strength to open ourselves up and seek help, it is a sign of strength, not weakness.
It’s good to have things to look forward to, so if it’s you or someone you know who has been feeling low lately then now is the time to start planning new things. However we are feeling, we can all do with a dose of more laughter, happiness and optimism. Make it your goal this week to search for these things in your life, make plans to bring this positive feeling into your life and work to spend more time in the moment. The more time we spend in the moment, the happier we will all feel. Have a great week. Sara x