What is depression?
Most of us will have heard of depression, but it is often misunderstood. Depression is more than feeling unhappy or fed up for a few days – it is a long period of feeling very low and struggling to feel happiness in the things that we usually enjoy. Even day-to-day tasks can feel incredibly difficult, and people can feel helpless as they struggle to see a way out of their depression.
It can be frustrating for you if there doesn’t appear to be any clear reason for depression but please don’t feel annoyed at yourself for this, or start to feel like you are alone in your experience. Whilst depression may sometimes be triggered by a hard time in life or a particular life event – such as a relationship breakdown, period of ill health or difficulties at work – sometimes you can start to feel down despite it seeming like your life is very happy.
How are you feeling?
There are many things that could indicate that you are feeling low or experiencing depression. There are more obvious symptoms such as always feeling unhappy or hopeless, as well as less obvious signs like feeling less up to socialising or going off your food. The signs that you may be depressed will be unique for everyone, but may include:
- Tiredness and loss of energy
- Sadness that doesn’t go away
- Feeling dread and worry for the future
- Loss of self-confidence and self-esteem
- Withdrawing from seeing friends
- No longer doing activities you used to love, or not enjoying the activities when you do them
- Feeling irritable and agitated
- Losing your sex drive or experiencing sexual problems
- Thinking about suicide and death
- Contemplating hurting yourself.
It is an important first step to identify how you feel and the things that are likely to trigger depression.
Who does it affect?
Depression can affect anyone, at any age - no matter how happy, healthy, wealthy, popular or settled they may seem from the outside. 25% of us here in Devon will experience depression or anxiety at some point in our lives, so do not feel alone. Depression does not need to hold you back from living your life and achieving everything you want to do, and help is available to you.
Should I tell my friends and family?
If you have noticed yourself feeling low, you have already taken the first step to recovery. We understand that it can be a lonely and scary time, and talking about it can be daunting. One of the best things you can do to help yourself is reach out to the people you trust, and speak to them about how you are feeling. Often by opening up to those close to you, you help others to discuss their feelings, too.
How can TALKWORKS help?
Depression does not discriminate, and neither do we. We are open to anyone over the age of 18 - no matter what your gender, sexuality, age or race. If you’re feeling low, TALKWORKS is here to help. We can provide you with talking therapies to help you understand depression and to develop strategies to help you manage and improve your mood and to feel like yourself again. To get in touch with us, it is as simple as filling in this form. If you prefer, you can speak to us over the phone to book an appointment, or speak with your GP to discuss how we can help.
With five teams across Devon and Torbay, help can usually be provided close to where you live and appointments can take place in a variety of community buildings, hospitals, GP surgeries and libraries.
Please don’t feel that you have to struggle with depression in silence. The sooner you take the next step and contact us, the sooner we can help you to feel like ‘you’ again.
To get in touch with us:
If you prefer, you can speak to us over the phone, or you can make an appointment with your GP to discuss how we can help.