Why am i writing this blog? well to be honest i am not 100% sure! I would like to think that lots of people will read my words and have an “eureka” moment and realise that depression is something that doesn’t care about class, gender, wealth or any social status. Maybe your reading this and thinking “this sounds like me and how I feel” if I could help one person then I feel justified in writing and if no one reads this whatsoever then at the very least I am helping myself!
Taken from the NHSDirect website
Depression is a very common problem.
Many people feel ‘low’ or ‘down in the dumps’ at times, but for some people the problem becomes much worse and ‘normal’ life becomes difficult.
In its mildest form, depression does not stop a person from leading a normal life – however, there is cause for concern if it affects your daily life.
You should seek help if your depression does not seem to be getting any better and seek urgent help if you are having thoughts of death or suicide (killing yourself).
What triggers depression?
Depression differs from person to person. There are many different triggers for depression.
Some people are born with a tendency to become depressed more easily than others.
Some people will have a significant life event which can trigger these feelings. For example, money worries, losing a job, a relationship breakdown or a death in the family and for some people, depression can come on for no obvious reason.
When depression begins to affect your life, it is best to seek help and advice from your GP.
Effects of depression
Depression can affect every aspect of your life – it can make you feel tearful, or feel guilty, or you may lose interest in things you have previously enjoyed. As a result, depression may make you lose confidence in your abilities.
Feelings of hopelessness and negative thinking are common symptoms of depression and can make your problems seem worse than they really are.
Depression can affect people in many ways. Some become withdrawn and sad and will avoid contact with family and friends. Whilst others may feel the need to be around people all the time or drink more alcohol or smoke more than they previously did.
Depression can be treated and well managed. You will need to see your GP for a diagnosis and treatment programme.
Most people are treated for depression by their GP. Your GP may suggest a ‘talking treatment’ (counselling or therapy) or antidepressant tablets, or both. Your GP may refer you to a specialist mental health worker, for example a psychiatrist, counsellor, community psychiatric nurse or psychologist.
Specialist mental health workers will help you to understand your own issues and begin to work out ways of helping you to overcome your depression.
Typical signs of depression
Emotional signs of depression:
- You might feel sad, low or miserable.
- You might feel like crying or cry all the time.
- You might get little or no pleasure from life.
- You might lose interest in family, friends and your favourite things.
- You might feel useless, helpless and hopeless.
- You might feel anxious, agitated or worried all the time.
- You may find that you just don’t feel ‘right’.
- You may lose confidence in yourself and your ability to do things.
- You may have suicidal thoughts or thoughts of hurting others.
Physical signs of depression:
- You might feel tired all the time or have low energy levels.
- You may have problems sleeping or wake throughout the night and then find that events run over in your head preventing you from getting off to sleep again.
- You might find that you wake early in the morning.
- Your appetite may change – you may go off your food completely or you may want to eat lots of comfort type foods. This can result in either weight gain or unintentional weight loss.
- You may have issues with your self esteem.
- You might not want to get out of bed or feel like getting washed and dressed each day.
- You might find yourself being extra sensitive to everything around you, and may blame yourself for things going wrong even if you have no control over them.
- You may have problems concentrating on daily tasks and activities.
- You may go off sex.
- You may not be able to motivate yourself – such as not wanting to go to work or do housework.
- You may have various aches, pains or physical symptoms that are not caused by another health condition.
This is where is gets interesting in terms of how it affects me
I used to be the annoying person who was always bubbly, cracking jokes, taking the piss and where ever there was a line I was always the person on the wrong side of it, right or wrong my mouth was saying things before my brain could engage it. Over the last few years I could sense my whole personality changing into someone who now rarely leaves home unless I really put lots of effort into it, aside from the daily trek to my Tesco Express store. I can count on one hand the number of times I have been out socializing in the last 3 years and still have 3 fingers spare!
Feeling emotional all the time was a new sensation for me I remember sitting down to watch A league of Their Own (with Madonna and Tom Hanks NOT Smithy and Redknapp!) and come the end of the film i had tears streaming down my face, was it because of the acting? who knows but i found myself welling up over “sad” films or even emotional TV shows like The Locator. I am hoping the wife still believes I had something in my eye!
Tiredness is a big issue for me and I know it drives the wife mad as well on an average day I don’t wake up till around 11.30am yet I have no energy to do anything, By 2/3pm I’m ready for another sleep for a couple of hours and by the time I wake up again the day is almost gone. Some days I do make the effort to go out even just to the shops but when I get home I’m exhausted! Come “bedtime” it’s almost 3am and the cycle starts again.
Probably the biggest issue for me is the feelings of being useless and a failure. Since leaving school 15 years ago I have been unemployed more than in work! I have been made redundant 5 times from companies that have gone bust and the self loathing i feel is difficult for me to overcome. I want to be able to provide for my wife and kids, having teenage boys is not easy in todays brand name world and not being able to get the “best” names or “coolest” gadgets for your kids is hard when all their friends have better things. Christmas time is never one of my favourite times watching the kids faces drop when they have 1 or 2 presents to open cuts deep and regardless of how grateful they appear to be for what they have received I feel for them when they go back to school and hear from their friends about how much crap they got and then ask what my kids got! My wife and I have not exchanged gifts for Christmas/birthdays for about 5 years! One day darling I will get you something that will blow your socks off! yes you guessed it, an industrial fan.
Have I had suicidal thoughts? yes I have but I did not act on them. It scared me that i thought that way but on the worst occasion my now 3-year-old daughter and wife came through the front door and their smiles changed everything! Would I have gone through with it? who knows but the tablets have stopped my dark thoughts and for that reason alone I’m glad I saw my GP.
Do you recognise some of these symptoms in yourself? If you do please don’t be afraid to talk to your GP about it. Talk to your partner as well talk to anyone but the voices in your head LOL
One final thing I would like to add….. Don’t you hate it when people say “what you got to be depressed about?” Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr