Feeling low from time to time is common to all...YES All! The pressures of modern daily life can crowd in so much that we can find ourselves tearful and tired - leaving us to wonder whether daily stresses have tipped us over into something more serious?
It could of course be hormonal?...the weather?...or that everyone else appears to be so "bloody happy" and we're not?! "Something more serious" ie. depression - can be triggered by what might be a series of difficult to handle life events that start piling up on us. These problems that might be manageable on there own can so easily become just too, too much when they come in threes and fours and more!
Depression is said to affect up to 10% of the population at any given time...but the majority of us just keep going - hoping that if we plough on it'll all be OK before we know it. Experience tells us that that might be the case...but more often than not our struggle continues and our depression remains undiagnosed! It may be a surprise to hear that if your "low-mood" has continued for more than two weeks...you may have a more serious problem. Julia Lamb - from the mental health charity "Mind" - says "Everyone's experience of depression will be different" ...so it rarely helps to compare ourselves!
It's a fact that women are twice as likely to be diagnosed with depression than men and to experience sleep problems, feel tearful and sad. Men - on the other hand - are more likely to reach out for drink or drugs or complain of aches and pains.
A typical warning sign that feelings of sadness or anxiety are spilling over into depression are an increasing inability to reach out to thers for help - leading to a mrbid isolation...if that's you it may be time to seek help?
Below is a simple Questionaire to help you find out whether you're depressed or not?
Answer the questions by circling either A, B or C:
A = No, I don't feel like this,
B = Yes, a little,
C = Yes, constantly, for more than two weeks.
A B C Do you feel unhappy for most of the day?
A B C Have you lost all interest and pleasure in activities you used to enjoy?
A B C Are you fiding it harder to cope with everyday jobs that you used to manage easily?
A B C Are you finding it harder to make decisions?
A B C Have you been finding it more difficult to concentrate?
A B C Have your eating patterns changed? (You might have lost your appetite and bcome
thinner, or you might suddenly be eating a lot more and putting on weight.)
A B C Have your sleep patterns changed? (You might find you're waking very early, in the
morning for no reason. You may have trouble getting off to sleep or you may be
sleeping all day.)
A B C Are you feeling tired and drained, even when you haven't been doing very much?
A B C Are you drinking more than usual?
A B C Are you crying a lot?
A B C Have you become very irritable and impatient with other people?
A B C Have you lost interest in sex?
A B C Do you find yourself avoiding friends and aquaintances so you don't have to talk to
A B C Are you struggling to cope with aches and pains that don't seem to have any physical
A B C Do you feel restless and agitated?
A B C Have you suddenly lost your self-confidence?
A B C Do you keep blaming yourselfand feel guilty about your relationships and the way
A B C Does the future seem very bleak?
A B C Do you feel numb or have a sense of unreality, as if you're living behind a glass wall?
A B C Do you find yourself thinking about suicide?
PLEASE NOTE: If you've answered B or C to the last question, you must seek help immediately!
# If your answers are mostly A's with some B's, or mostly B's, you may be feeling low, but you're unlikely to be depressed. Exercise regularly to realease feel-good endorphins. Watch your diet - it's easy to feel miserable if you're skipping meals or eating poor-quality food - and take supplements of Omega-3, Folic Acid and Vitamin B12. Cut down on alcohol and cigarettes as they make you feel worse. With these small steps,you might feel better equipped to move on from your problems. These steps may help...but even though you may not be depressed... Counselling therapy may still be helpful to you and should seriously be considered.
# If you answered C to the first two questions, and to three or more others, you may be depressed. If so, consider some kind of Counselling Therapy. Cognitive Beahavioural Therapy - CBT - helps you to take control of negative, irrational thinking patterns. Rememberthat a Counsellor can't cure you of your black moods - but he can work with you to help you to cure yourself. Crucially, recognising that you have a problem and taking steps to tackling it is the initial and best step towards recovery - and geeting your life back!
SO, ARE YOU IN NEED OF DEPRESSION COUNSELLING IN BIRMINGHAM?
Do something positive now and consider giving me - Rob Slater - at "Rob Slater Professional Counselling" - a call to arrange your fisrt Free Counselling session....it could change and save your life!