At what point should we start to worry about our emotions? And how do we know if it's just a passing phase or something more serious?
During our lifetime many of us will have experienced feelings of depression: sleepless nights, tiredness, lack of enjoyment and reduced sex drive. However, at what point do we label ourselves as ‘clinically depressed’ and how does our environment affect our moods?
Is depression just part of life?
First, let’s get one thing straight – it is completely normal to have occasional feelings of depression. It’s too easy to give yourself a hard time if you’re not feeling like your usual happy self, but beating yourself up about it could potentially exacerbate the symptoms and make things worse. Just allow yourself to feel the emotions you are feeling and only if they don’t seem to disappear within a week or so should you book an appointment to see your local GP and they will be able to tell you if you are depressed.
Depression and our environment
Lots of people are feeling depressed at the moment and we have to factor in the current financial climate. Many people are being made redundant each day and lots of us are worrying about debts and being able to afford mortgage re-payments, so really it’s no wonder that there’s a general sense of unease amongst us. Try to get in tune with yourself, and learn to trust your instincts. Have you lost your job? Then it is normal to feel depressed and worried – however if a month down the line you can’t face getting out of bed each morning and avoid seeing friends then perhaps it’s time to get help?
Symptoms of depression
If you suspect that you may be feeling depressed then look out for the following symptoms:
• Low self-esteem
• Lack of enjoyment
• Changes in your sleep pattern
• Changes in your appetite (decreased/increased appetite)
• Feeling anxious
• Feeling worried
• Changes to your menstrual cycle
• Lack of energy
• Reduced sex drive
• Feeling isolated
• Not performing well at work
• Feeling hopeless
These are just a few symptoms of depression.