When Does Stress Become a Problem?

Many of us will encounter some form of Depression during our lives, whether we go through it ourselves or it impacts someone close to us. We will all experience low moods as it’s a normal part of life, but when these negative feelings begin to impact our daily lives and exhibit as physical symptoms, it can be a sign of depression. Depression is a common mental health problem but It’s important to recognise that it can become a serious condition which, if left untreated, can interfere with our work, sleep, appetite and energy levels.

What is Depression?

Depression is a mental condition which revolves around negative feelings which impact what you think, how you feel about yourself and others, and how you act. It’s commonly understood as a perpetual feeling of sadness and loss of interest in the things that you enjoyed about life. However depression is a lot more than feeling down and listless. You can start to feel physical effects that interrupt your daily life such as insomnia, loss of appetite, difficulties with concentrating and low energy and loss of motivation.

Statistics suggest that around 1 in 6 people have experienced depression at some point in their lives. While a common condition, not everyone is fully aware of the symptoms. Because of this, many people go undiagnosed, missing out on the treatment that they need to feel better. If ignored depression can develop into a more severe condition and at that point, it can be paralysing. If you and someone close to you is going through depression, reaching out for help is a crucial step towards getting control back of your life.

What are the common symptoms of depression?

Depression affects the mood and the body in different ways but most people experience the same common symptoms. If you are experiencing some of the following signs and have been for the past two weeks, there is a strong likelihood that you have depression.

  • Continuous feelings of sadness
  • Feeling hopeless and pessimistic
  • Irritability
  • Feeling guilt-ridden
  • Loss of motivation
  • Difficulty with decision making
  • Decreased energy levels
  • Difficulty with sleeping or sleeping too much
  • Changes in appetite – either a loss of appetite or overeating
  • Low sex drive and loss of libido
  • Unexplained aches and pains
  • Digestive issues such as constipation and diarrhoea
  • Thoughts of death or suicide (ideation)

There are people with depression who live with the symptoms and can still manage to get through their daily lives still functioning. However, just because you can get up in the morning and go to work doesn’t mean that you should be leaving your depression untreated. Maybe you feel as if nothing will ever help or that you can’t get better? Part of depression includes feeling hopeless. The fact of the matter is that you can get help.

Depression & Anxiety

While different conditions, depression and anxiety can arise together as they both involve negative thoughts. Many of the changes to the mood are the same so sometimes the conditions can be mistaken for each other. Both can leave you feeling irrational irritability and hopelessness. Depression and anxiety can affect your sleep and your diet, leaving you with physical symptoms as well as emotional ones. The key difference is that depression leaves you with low energy and a lack of motivation. With anxiety, you’ll feel tense and jittery, often feeling on edge and fearful.

The risks of severe depression

Leaving depression untreated can cause a downward spiral as the feelings of hopelessness are left to continue. In more extreme cases there is a risk of encountering thoughts of death and suicide In these cases people can reach a point where they are unable to reach out for help themselves. They may feel trapped and without a way out and as a consequence start to have feelings of having no reason to live or thoughts of suicide.

How is depression treated?

Depression is often treated through medication and talking therapies. The action that we recommend is to first talk to a professional – whether that is your GP, a psychotherapist or a counsellor. Treatment depends on the severity of the depression. More severe conditions often benefit from a combination of antidepressant medication and therapy to address the symptoms and then treat the cause.

It’s important to know that you don’t need to wait for a diagnosis to get help. Your mental health is important with or without labels to identify what you’re feeling and thinking. Seeking out a therapist early on can offset the depression before it starts to interfere with your daily life. Learning important techniques to challenge the negative thoughts before they spiral will prevent them from taking over.

Getting help with depression

Taking the first step is the hardest and the most monumental towards recovery. It all starts with talking. Whether you reach out first to a friend or family member, acknowledging your mental health and understanding that there is something wrong gets you closer towards relief.

Based in Brighton? If you believe you have depression or need to talk to a therapist, you can arrange for an initial consultation Email us on info@therapyclinicbrighton.com to find out the next steps or book an initial appointment online here.

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