Depression: Literally anyone can get depressed

Depression. Many of us will experience this low mood, confusion and unhappiness at some point in our life. Sometimes it can be related to an obvious experience, but often it can strike out of the blue.

Depression is very difficult to define because it is usually different for each individual person. 

Depression can get mixed up with physical symptoms because as individuals fall into a trough of depression they may experience physical signs, such as:

  • Moving slower than usual
  • Stubborn headaches
  • Waking up early
  • Finding it very difficult to get out of bed
  • Hesitant speech
  • Loss of libido
  • Muscle and bone pain
  • Tiredness and lack of energy
  • Stomach pains and upsets
  • “Out of nowhere, it creeps up on people and sometimes it hits them completely unexpectedly.”

    Behaviour often changes aswell and depressed people might:

    • Abandon hobbies and avoid social activities
    • Snap at family and lose interest in friends
    • Eat too much or eat too little
    • Drink too much alcohol or self medicate with non-prescribed drugs
    • Some make mistakes at work or even miss work altogether

    The symptoms of depression present themselves in many, many different ways. For example, you might experience any of the following (incidentally, this is a long list):

    • Low mood
    • Sadness
    • Little interest in anything… even favourite pastimes
    • Hopelessness
    • Worthlessness
    • Intolerance of others
    • Increased anxiety
    • Indecisiveness
    • Low self-esteem
    • Feeling constantly weepy and upset
    • Reduced concentration
    • Sinking cognitive ability
    • Irritability and anger
    • Poor sleep
    • Poor memory
    • Inappropriate guilt
    • No motivation and apathy

    People often avoid admitting to themselves and to others that they might be struggling with an emotional issue like depression. It frequently feels like the slippery slope towards an inescapable, doom laden, future and many become genuinely frightened. Some deny being depressed because they may fear the stigma or they worry about the respect and affection they may lose from others.

    I, myself, never thought I'd be depressed, but it happened. When I was deep in depression… when I was in that hollow, dark, hopeless place, I didn’t believe that I'd ever escape its grip. Fortunately, I did escape. In fact my life is far better after my years of depression than it was before my depression. I realised that before, I was ‘being’ a person that actually made me ill. Now, I've changed and I’m closer to the real me. Now, I never feel low… honestly. 

    Blog post by Shane Lutkin, founder of Emotionalskills

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