WHO WOULD YOU BE WITHOUT FEELING like a failure?
You do not have depression because of something bad that happened to you. It’s more than that- after all, if that were the case, everyone would be depressed, because life is not holding anything back.
Depression has many causes: genetic, epigenetic, biological, psychological and environmental. What is important to know is that the meaning you give to what happened and the thoughts you have about life, contribute to, and maintain depression.
Therapy can help, in that we can learn ways to think differently, so we can lessen the effects of depression and start showing up in the world in more engaged and functional ways.
The main symptom of depression is a sad, despairing mood that:
- is present most days and lasts most of the day
- lasts for more than two weeks
- impairs the person’s performance at work, at school or in social relationships.
Other symptoms of depression include:
- changes in appetite and weight
- sleep problems
- loss of interest in work, hobbies, people or sex
- withdrawal from family members and friends
- feeling useless, hopeless, excessively guilty, pessimistic or having low self-esteem
- agitation or feeling slowed down
- trouble concentrating, remembering and making decision
- crying easily, or feeling like crying but being not able to
- thoughts of suicide (which should always be taken seriously)
- a loss of touch with reality, hearing voices (hallucinations) or having strange ideas (delusions).
It is possible to take small steps towards a more active, positive state of mind. Let’s look at what you used to do that gave you pleasure. Let’s start small. Maybe by not hitting the snooze button 20 times before you get up. Maybe by taking a shower. Maybe by cleaning the clothes from the floor -5 minutes today and 10 minutes next week. Then giving ourselves credit for doing things that we did not feel like doing, but that we did anyway- that’s huge!
One step in front of the other, we’ll invite pleasure back into your life and with it, a sense of agency, of capability and mastery. You will feel your depression symptoms lessen and you’ll learn new ways to think about yourself and your problems, in the process.