No one is expected to be happy, fulfilled, and excited about life every hour of every day. It is unrealistic to think that is how life should be. Life is composed of diverse emotions, ranging from complete euphoria to deep melancholy, and those raw feelings are what makes someone human. However, though feeling down and upset is a normal part of life, depression is not. If your emotions go from distressed about a specific circumstance, to hopelessness, despair, and have cultivated daily disturbances (such as eating and sleeping), then you could have clinical depression and need to seek counselling services.
What causes Depression?
Depression is not a one size fits all type of scenario. There are tons of reasons why someone could fall into a deep state of depression. For instance, those who have a family history of depression are much more likely to have it themselves due to hereditary genetic make-up. In addition, people who have lower serotonin levels are at a higher risk of depression, as well.
Keep in mind that not all depression is caused by predestined genetic compounds. Many times, a life situation can send someone spiralling down to a dark space, and unable to get out of that on their own. With that being said, some other external reasons could be things such as:
- Losing a loved one
- Financial issues
- Losing a job
- Giving Birth (postpartum depression)
- Sometimes we don’t know at this moment
What are The Symptoms of Depression?
Always remember that the symptoms that can arise for those with depression will differ slightly from one another. The common symptoms are highly dictated on sex, age, and the type of situation that someone is facing. Though the range is diverse based on individual circumstances, here is a general overview of what depression tends to look like on a daily basis:
- Feeling sad, empty, hopeless, and crying often.
- Showing signs of anger, frustration, and irritability even over the smallest of matters.
- Losing all interest in the pleasure and joys in life that they once enjoyed doing.
- Either sleeping too much or not enough (insomnia).
- Tired and lacking energy all the time.
- Either eating too much or has little appetite, resulting in extreme weight changes.
- Anxious, restless, and agitated often.
- Trouble concentrating, remembering things, and has a hard time making decisions.
- Is fixated on past mistakes and failures, and shows feelings of guilt/shame
- In severe cases, thoughts of suicide or have even made suicide attempts. With suicide numbers going up in England and Wales since 2018, if you feel like you have gotten to this point, please seek help immediately.
How Is Depression Diagnosed?
Did you know that in any given week in England:
- 3 out of 100 people will have depression;
- 8 out of 100 people will suffer from anxiety and depression;
- And only about 1 out of every 8 people with mental illness receive treatment.
Though these stats might seem alarming, you are probably wondering how someone is diagnosed with depression in the first place. Sure, there are apparent symptoms that someone is depressed, but in order to get an accurate depression level, such as mild, moderate, or severe cases, this is where a professional psychologist or counsellor can step in and assist.
They will be able to navigate through your symptoms, use CBT, and other related methods to target where you land on the spectrum. One example of this might be to use behavioural activation to overcome your symptoms of depression and improve your mood. Based on what they gather will determine how your diagnosis will be fostered. Once they are able to pinpoint where you stand, that is when they will be able to develop a custom treatment plan that can get you back on your feet.
As noted above, the first step in treating depression is understanding that you need help and finding a professional psychologist or counsellor who can support you on your journey back to a healthier mindset. Yes, self-diagnosis is a vital part of the process, but never think that you have to deal with it all on your own. There are skilled resources out there across the UK who are trained to help people just like you get back to a positive state, learn healthy coping mechanisms (like exercising), prescribe antidepressant medications that can help your adverse thoughts, and foster the ideal custom treatment plan based on your individual needs.
Always remember, no matter how hopeless you may feel, you can get better. Recognise your emotions, understand your symptoms, and seek professional help so you can start the first steps to reaching a better quality of life.
Quest Psychology Services are specialists in providing psychology and counselling for people with depression within Salford, Manchester. To discuss getting help yourself call us on 07932737335