No letter this week so I thought I would take the opportunity to look at depression. Many people use the term depression quite freely but if you have ever had or been close to some one who is suffering from depression it really can be very debilitating and have a considerable impact when trying to maintain a sense of 'normality" and "stability" .
Depression can be brought on by a life changing episode, it could be a bereavement, an accident, the break down of a relationship, the diagnosis of an illness or an array of other life changing incidents. These can cause a trigger of initial sadness which is then followed by a much deeper sense of sadness, very low mood, lethargy often difficulty sleeping and either comfort or under eating can all be common symptoms.
Many of us tend to look for a reason for depression so that we can understand why it has happened and what can be done to stop it. The GP is often the first port of call, some are more understanding then others, some are possibly a little quick to prescribe common anti-depressants others will take a more long term view and offer counselling and other types of support.
Some times depression simply seems to appear from nowhere, clients often say that they have no idea why they feel the way they do and so have no idea how to make themselves feel better. It may seem at first that there is no obvious trigger but often it can be something that at first glance seems quite insignificant or not even related to you that triggers some thoughts and feeling from the past. For example, it might be that a friend has a child who is being bullied at school and they talk to you about it, this could bring up your own childhood bullying that you thought you had locked well away or make you realise that you are in fact being bullied yourself at work. I
t can sometimes take a while to make a link and begin to develop and understanding as to how your depression impacts you and those around you. Once this process of exploration and reflection starts to take place it creates an awareness in you that in time will enable you to see you have choices as to how you want to live with your depression.
Sometimes medication is needed and necessary, sometimes understanding yourself at a deeper level can provide you with the tools to spot the triggers early enough so that you can manage them more effectively in the future.
Mental health and particularly depression is still very misunderstood, its not as obvious as a broken leg but still requires the same support and care from family and friends. Many people suffer in silence and I hope that if this article does anything it helps someone to find the strength to talk to someone and seek the support that they need, be it from friends & family or a more structured support from professionals.
Take care and keep an awareness of those around you who may be silently suffering.