Depression often isn’t visible to those around you, but it can feel as if your lights have all been switched off and you don’t know how to turn them on again. It is a real illness with real symptoms, which at least one in three people will experience at least once in their life.
You may want to sleep all the time, or find your sleep is disrupted – you struggle to fall asleep or you keep waking up in the early hours and feel tired all the time. You may feel lethargic. You may find yourself comfort eating or have no appetite.
You may spend a lot of time in tears without feeling any release from sadness, or you may feel as if your emotions are frozen and shut off, you know you feel profoundly sad yet you cannot cry.
Worst of all, depression can make you feel separated and closed off from connections with the world around you, with friends and loved ones; with life itself. You can wonder what is the point of your existence and lose all sense of purpose and enthusiasm, so that activities you used to enjoy feel empty.
It is hard to explain to someone else that things you once did all the time without thinking now feel like climbing a mountain, and that just doing normal everyday tasks can be a huge effort. This may lead you to opt out of social activities, stop going out and become even more isolated.
Climbing up from depression
It is important to see your doctor, as you may have an undiagnosed illness which is causing your depression. Medication is not always the answer, but for severe depression, medication can help you to engage with activities that improve your mood and gradually lift your depression while you access counselling.
You may feel that the last thing you want to do is go out, take exercise or make the effort to plan meals, but all of these things help more than you may realise as the weeks go by. Counselling can help you to find the motivation to care for yourself better, to try new ways of helping yourself with support and encouragement. I can also help you to discover where your current way of life may not be fulfilling you, if this is an underlying factor in your depression. Please contact me for a no obligation chat.