Sadness and Depression
Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Anthony Cook MA, MBACP (Accred).
15th December, 2009
One of the problems with writing something on self help is that it leaves me open to the accusation of telling people what they are doing wrong and how they should be leading their lives, and that is not what I do as a counsellor. Counselling is more to do with discovering between us the best solutions for you as an individual person, so please don’t take the following as a lesson in how to live, or a way of self-diagnosing depression; it is only a way of seeing or thinking about some of the things that come up for people who suffer from depression, and how people might be affected.
So how might you recognise depression. Well there do seem to be some indicators that might be worth taking notice of. Most people with depression will not experience everything on the list below but they will be acquainted with a significant number of them.
• A loss of self-confidence.
• Feeling irritable without knowing why.
• An ongoing tiredness.
• Difficulty in sleeping.
• Early waking.
• Difficulty in concentrating.
• Loss of appetite.
• Feeling an unfocussed anxiety.
• A sense of meaningless and indecision.
• Feeling physically and emotionally drained.
• Loss of interest in sex.
• Along with these things is often a feeling that we can no longer take pleasure in things that used to be interesting and enjoyable.
From time to time many of us have periods of sadness and have to deal with some of the things in this list, but sometimes they can get out of proportion and cause something like a downward spiral. If you think that the things on this list are familiar to you and that they are intruding into your life in a damaging way then it might be prudent to think about talking things over with someone.
For some people the sadness or depression becomes deeper, and can lead to more serious and harmful thoughts, so if you cannot see anything positive ahead of you and you think or feel so badly about things that you might think about ending your life, then please consider visiting your doctor or an experienced therapist, or the Samaritans.
What can you do to help feeling better?
In terms of self-help it has to be admitted that when someone is suffering from depression it becomes so much harder to do something to alleviate that suffering. It is often the case that the last thing a depressed person wants to hear is a list of jolly techniques designed to cheer that person up. That said, there are steps that can be taken towards a more positive outlook on life.
Can personal therapy help with Sadness and depression?
Well it has been my experience that it can help. Taking time to find out where the root cause of the depression might be, and then talking it through might not change the facts, but it can give a clearer perspective, and when we see things in a clearer light it can be easier to deal with them.
Try not to keep it all to yourself
Perhaps there has been a major upset, a bereavement, something bad in life or some sort of loss, these are things that often lead to depression and sadness. If you can talk to someone close to you – tell them how you feel. Talking seems to be part of the minds natural way of healing.
Try to be active
I know that for someone who is depressed it is difficult to get the energy to go out for a walk or do something physical, but if you can take some exercise it will help you to sleep better and improve your appetite. It will also help to keep you physically fit.
Try to eat well
Really boring, I know, but if you can take care to eat well, and that really means cutting down on processed foods and eating more fresh fruit and vegetables it might help you to feel better. This is because some processed foods contain chemicals that do not help you to feel well in yourself, especially the preservatives and e-numbers.
As well as eating also think about drinking
Try not to drown your sorrows with a drink. Alcohol just makes depression worse. It may make you feel better for a short while, but it doesn't last. Drinking can stop you dealing with important problems and from getting the right help. It's also bad for your physical health.
Simply talking about your feelings can be helpful however depressed you are. Sometimes it is hard to express your real feelings even to close friends. Talking things through with a trained counsellor or therapist can be easier. It can be a relief to get things off your chest and it can help you to be clearer about how you feel about yourself your life and the people around you.
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- "Man up" - talking about men's mental health
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