The manifestation of depression is as unique as the individuals it affects; hence symptoms vary widely. Among these diverse signs, simultaneous feelings of anxiety are common. Often, individuals battling depression may remain oblivious to the depth of their own despair. This unawareness is reflected as they persistently struggle to function, immersing themselves in a whirlwind of activities, consistently seeking change in jobs or relationships, all in an effort to elude their emotional state. However, the reality that demands their attention is the struggle within themselves.
Depression levels in the UK and the US and Worldwide have increased dramatically in the last few years.
Sometimes, physical reactions act as harbingers of this inner turmoil; sleeplessness, overconsumption of alcohol, binge-watching television, being in a constant state of worry, inexplicable dizziness or blurred vision. It is often only when our bodies begin to succumb under these pressures, that we acknowledge the mental distress. The mind-body relationship is integral, thus if we disregard our mind’s pleas, our bodies eventually compel us to pay heed.
Depression and anxiety are not static in their severity; they can gradually intensify, sporadically peak, and occasionally, offer periods of respite. Unfortunately, this gradual progression often blinds individuals to their own emotional deterioration. Their coping mechanisms often involve immersing themselves in work or other activities, which only results in exacerbated stress and exhaustion. This strain can manifest physically, leading to insomnia or consistent discomfort, such as relentless headaches.
Key symptoms of depression can include, but are not limited to: fluctuations in weight, insomnia, a diminished zest for life, indecisiveness, restlessness, loss of appetite, difficulty in coping, and persistent fatigue.
The genesis of depression varies. It could be attributed to a traumatic event, such as a relationship crisis or a personal loss. Sometimes, paradoxically, it could be triggered by positive events like job success or a family celebration. And at other times, the roots of depression remain concealed, deeply embedded in the individual’s psyche.
Addressing depression involves multiple strategies. In the past, a heartfelt conversation with a friend, relative, or colleague might have provided solace. Approaching your family doctor could be another viable step. Sharing your experiences not only helps alleviate feelings of isolation but may also offer you new perspectives. Incorporating regular exercise into your routine is vital; it may be the last thing you wish to do while depressed, but its importance in ameliorating your mental health is significant. Healthy eating is another critical aspect that can help. Depression often urges one to indulge in comfort foods, which are typically high in carbs and fats. Engaging in regular activities, like work and chores, can keep your mind occupied and help curb depressive thoughts.
If all these strategies fall short, seeking professional help from a therapist is advisable. Depression can be intricately tied to your thought patterns and behaviors. Techniques that may have been effective in the past might not suffice now. A therapist can guide you in recognizing and breaking these patterns, thereby providing the tools needed to conquer depression.
Dr Yaz ©