Depression

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MY MOTHER SAYS THAT I'M DEPRESSED

Question: “Why does she think that?”

Answer: “I can't get up in the morning to go to work”.

Question: “Do you have the same problem with getting up to do fun things?”

Answer:  “No.”

Comment: “Tell your mother that you are not depressed - you're lazy.”

 

WHAT IS DEPRESSION?

Depression feels like a great sadness or as a lack of any emotion, a hollow feeling inside.  When you are awake, you find yourself worrying about all the things you feel guilty about.  You will tend to dwell on bad things that could happen, some of the things are reasonable and some are things like UFOs landing and killing you and your family.  The mark of depression is that you cannot turn your mind off the negative except when asleep.  Whatever used to cheer you up before no longer works.  Life's struggles seem pointless and you have a hard time getting out of bed or off the couch.  You want to sleep until the feeling goes away.  Sometimes it feels as if a black cloud is hanging over your head.  Sometimes it feels like you are in a deep, deep hole and cannot climb out.  Your thoughts might turn to death as the only way to get away from the feeling.  You might start planning a possible suicide.  If you have these feelings get professional help now.

 

WHAT IS NOT DEPRESSION?

Feeling sad and lonely after the death of a loved one. 

Feeling a loss when your children move away.

Being sad because you did not get the job you wanted.

Feeling abandoned when you are separated from your friends.

Financial reversals made you suddenly much poorer.

Feeling tired all the time and crying a lot for no apparent reason are not always signs of depression. There are many medical conditions which could cause these symptoms including unstable hormone levels and allergies. Even if you consider yourself a very healthy person, go to your medical practitioner to rule out any disease process. If you get a clean bill of health, get professional help; perhaps you are slipping into a depressive state.

If any of the above feelings do not go away within 6 months, or if you develop suicidal thoughts - get help – the sadness is turning into a depression.  Medical conditions and depression can co-exit.

 

THINGS TO DO IF YOU ARE DEPRESSED

Seek professional help.  Sometimes talking therapy helps and sometimes medications help.  Whether you pick one or both of these options, there are things that you can do at home for yourself.

Get your motor running.

Remember that our body is like a battery made of chemicals and electrical current.  When the chemicals are not right or depleted you will function like a clock with a dying battery - everything will slow down. Since the body has a wonderful capacity of repairing itself, you can speed up your recovery from depression by reviving your circulation and production of necessary chemicals.  The way to do that is to get out of the bed and make yourself exercise, take a walk, and clean the house.  Of course you do not feel like it, but make yourself do it.  Make yourself get up, and take a shower.  Make your body move.

Get rid of that negative thinking.

Read the article on Stress Management and practice the section on Thought Stopping.

Go back to work and your usual activities.

I know your concentration is off and you have a hard time focusing on tasks.  However, if you stay at home and worry and think about how you cannot function, you will start believing it.  You will find that going back to work is a good distraction from your negative thinking.

Try these methods.  You will recover faster!

 

Rounded Rectangle: Clinical Psychologist                            Alexandra J. Rogers, Ph.D.