Addressing the triggers of depression

We live in an ever-increasing stressful world. We turn on the latest news station and it’s all there. Conflict around the world, the recession, mindless acts of violence and increasing unemployment serve to tell us that perhaps we have good reason to worry. Some of the negative news we hear doesn’t even involve us personally but it doesn’t detract from the fact that a lot of the news is depressing.  On top of all this are our own personal problems. Bringing up a family is stressful. Worry about our children, job loss, debts and health problems can all serve to test us deeply. We may have a relationship problem, an impending divorce or be going through a family bereavement. Life can be hard and it’s not surprising that sometimes we feel it’s all too much to cope with.

There is a world of difference between those people who react to an incident in life with a sense of sadness or feel fed up for a while and those suffering a clinical depression from which they feel they cannot escape. It is when the sadness doesn’t go away and the feelings of despair get deeper with time that we can fall prey to depression that may then become a concern.

It is likely that if you are suffering from a clinical depression you will have some of these symptoms:

  • Lack of concentration
  • Difficulty sleeping or disrupted sleeping pattern
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Loss of appetite
  • An increase in self isolation
  • Fatigue
  • Feelings of worthlessness
  • Physical aches and pains
  • Thoughts of suicide or self-harm

These are just a handful of the symptoms you may feel and are not exhaustive. You may find yourself crying and becoming upset by the least thing but you may also feel numb or simply feel devoid of emotion. The simple truth is that feeling fed up or sad for a while as opposed to clinically depressed usually passes quite quickly as we busy ourselves and the cause for that sadness passes naturally. Clinical depression, if not addressed seems to worsen with time.

We all deal with problems differently. Some people are more sensitive than others.  Clinical depression takes no account of gender or age and can creep up on anyone at any time in their lives.  It is the way we react to, cope with and address the trigger to our depression that is key to our level of mood. This doesn’t particularly mean ignoring that trigger as this may at times be counter productive. Many people can and do carry on regardless but may still fall prey to a delayed onset of depression. It is preferable to address the trigger as early on as possible and thus avoid a deep depression developing. There has never been more help and advice available than there is today. Getting advice or help doesn’t have to mean taking medication either. If the trigger to your depression can be identified and dealt with accordingly there will be no need for antidepressants.  Many people end up taking antidepressants as a first choice without considering why they have become depressed. Addressing the cause not the effects should be important to all professionals if they consider the depression to be mild to moderate.

Of course for some people there doesn’t appear to be an obvious trigger and that can prove more difficult. There are other depressive states such as post natal depression and the depression suffered in bipolar disorder that usually need some form of medication.