Recognising the feeling of depression

We've all felt those moments of sadness, those times when you wonder whether time will truely heal and you'll feel better again. Whether it be from defeat for your sports team, missing out on the grades from your exam, or even the loss of a loved one, our mood will drop and it takes a little more than a cup of coffee to bring us back up again.

But what about when you can't quite explain why something is getting you down? When you believe that even with time your mood won't pick up? When you even start to think "Whats the point anymore?". Then this is the time to realise that this is no longer just a little bit of sadness, but it is depression, its something bigger that you are going to need to tackle to overcome.

Speaking from experience, i am someone who knows exactly what depression feels like, and following some simple steps you too can begin working towards ending these terrible feelings.

Be honest with yourself

You know that something's not right in your head but you don't know what. When you are having these continuous low moods you need to start being honest with yourself and try to work out why you might be feeling like this and what may have triggered this feeling of depression. You need to step back from yourself and think - what has caused this specific feeling at this moment? Is it something that you've done or not done? Is it something somebody has said or done to you? Is it because your not happy with a specific part of your life? Your job, your love life,  your home life, your social life, your weight or fitness? What is it that happens or springs to mind which causes you to feel depressed?

These are the triggers and the things that cause your low moods to kick in. It is these actions, words, self criticisms of your own life that you will ultimately want and need to change and defeat long term to be able to make a full recovery.

Don't put yourself down

It's so easy when you see your list of what your not happy with in life, to try to blame yourself for these resons existing in the first place. But regardless of how much you may feel you are at fault, punishing yourself for being overweight or in a job you don't enjoy is the one sure fire way to make your moods, your lows, become much worse and will make things a million times harder to get back to where you feel like you are back in control.

If you had a mysterious pain in your knee, that you found so bad that it affected how you walked and how much you could move around, if it caused you to lay awake at night either through the pain or through your worry of how it is going to affect you the following day, then what would you do? You'd see your physician. You would go and ask someone for help that knew what would be wrong and how to fix it. You are not qualified in diagnosing what was wrong, and you certainly wouldn't know how to stop the long term problem of it, so why when it comes to depression do we often say to ourselves "it will pass", "it's something i'll have to deal with" or even the dreaded comment "i should just snap out of it". Mental health is something that, short of going to college for 7 years to study medicine, ordinary people like you and me are not qualified to deal with and yet we have all those medical staff who are that can help us.  

It's good to talk

Now you may have gone someway to realising why you feel like you do and that you can't just 'fix' yourself, it's time to reach out and ask for help. Heard the expression 'a problem shared is a problem halved'? well nothing is more true than with depression. If you can speak to someone and just tell them that you feel like this then that can go a long way to helping you to begin your recovery from this. It may be a husband or wife, a brother or sister, a good friend or even a close colleague in work who you feel you can confidently and confidentially talk to.

They may be able to help by going jogging with you, or by helping you work towards a promotion or looking for another job. There are many ways they may be able to support you with what your going through that you may not have considered but most of all they can help you just by listening. Both now and in the future if you need someone to help you lift the cloud that can descend over you and you find it so hard to just about do anything.

Having someone nearby who you trust and who you can confide in, does begin to lift the weight off your shoulders. But this is no substitute to going to your nearest health care worker to talk to them to get help and it is probably one of the first things this close ally will recommend you do!


Seeking help

There are many things that they can do to help you beat and overcome this depression. Whether it be talking to you about making simple changes in your life like taking regular excercise, eating healthily, getting a good nights sleep, or cutting down on drinking coffee (all of which can be a massive help) through to recommending you see a counsellor to talk about why you feel this way, talking to a therapist who will help re-train your brain from thinking so negatively about your life, talking to various helplines, or even to trying anti-depressants to help you mentally get back to full strength.

There is only one person who can help get you back to feeling mentally fully fit and thats you! And all you have to do is talk. Talk to yourself, talk to a friend and talk to a doctor - just talk to someone and the help is there. Don't try to cope with depression by yourself when you are not trained to deal with it when there are so many people that are and who are willing to help.

You just need to ask.