Low Mood or Depression?
Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just to take the first step. (Martin Luther King Jr.)
Depression is a common human experience. Many people will at some time in their life experience depression. One of the first signs can be a lack of pleasure with what would normally be a pleasing life activity and also feelings of exhaustion. Experiencing of depression does not necessarily interfere in daily activity. People go on doing the things they have to do, but they must push themselves.
When the level of depression becomes severe and does interfere in a person’s ability to follow through on their daily activities it is called major depression (or clinical depression). The difference between normal depression (very low mood) and major depression is that symptoms are more severe, last longer and impair a person’s ability to function. What used to be satisfying is frustrating or tiresome. You may withdraw from people and isolate yourself, you may avoid people and situations, experience negative thinking, experience hopelessness, feel overwhelmed. You may find it difficult to sleep and your eating habits change .You may feel that you are a prisoner of this state of mind and become frightened in the belief that it will never end. Some people with major depression experience suicidal thoughts or have a death wish, where they wished something would happen to them so they didn’t have to live with the struggle any longer, but do not actually think about taking their own life.
Some causes of depression
- Environmental factors. This depression is triggered by the stress of change or losses such as losing a job, or death of a family member or friend.
- Biological factors. There are chemicals in the brain which communicate messages between the nerve cells of the brain. If there is an imbalance in these chemicals the result can be changes in thought, behaviour, and emotion. Other biological factors that can influence depression are chronic pain or medical illness, and long-term experience of stress with an element of hopelessness.
The causes of depression can be as individual as the person experiencing them.
If you experience depression there are a number of ways to get help (interventions) which can improve the quality of your life experience.
Counselling/psychotherapy is a key factor in understanding the source of your depression and making the appropriate interventions.
Also, discuss the possibility of antidepressant medication which your doctor.
It is also possible to work with a combination of counselling/psychotherapy and medication.
If you feel you are suffering from depression or a very low mood look for support. Do not deny how you feel. Talk to a friend or family member and allow them to support you. Ask a friend’s family member to help you find a counselor/psychotherapist. Ask them to come with you to meet a counsellor/psychotherapist to discuss your depression.