Depression has been a recognized medical condition for many years now, and with the stress of day to day life, the loss of a loved one or simply a state of mind brought on by doubt and fear.
We are seeing an increase in the number of people seeking help and advice for either themselves or someone they love who are going through a bout of depression.
It can be something of a secret condition for many people, for when someone is suffering from depression they may lock themselves away from the world and never venture out of their homes. It can often be quite difficult to see the symptoms of depression as the symptoms are often not revealed or shown to others.
With the world going through something of a financial recession at this moment in time, depression can sneak up on anyone, worries about ones finances or job security can overwhelm a person and the onset of depression can be quick or slow, however once someone is suffering from it that is when they start to feel life is not worth the effort and dark thoughts can often become a regular occurrence.
The drug Xanax is a proven and very helpful one for controlling depression, and we would urge anyone who is or knows someone who is suffering from any kind of depression to consider using it, once of course they have taken a look at the benefits to be had by taking it, and if necessary sought medical advice using Xanax.
The problem with depression is that there is no single way to identify, diagnose, or even physically see it.
You see the problem is, we all experience depression at some point. The reasons we deal with depression are far and wide.
It’s a sad fact of life, but we all experience death, and we will all lose friends, family, loved ones and pets, and when the time comes, we all feel some sense of loss. If we are having problems at work, lose our job or are being bullied in the workplace, we experience depression. If we’re having relationship struggles, suffering abuse or have recently split, we experience that devastating feeling of emptiness, like something is missing from us. Again this is depression. However, these are only temporary spells, and for the most part, time will heal, however, in other cases, a change is needed.
It is reckoned that a majority of people in receipt of illness benefits are currently listed as depressed, and although a vast majority of them are clinically depressed, they are doing themselves no favours by moping. You see, the brain when it isn’t focussed on something, has a tendency to wander, and when you are depressed, it plays with your head, constantly bringing back painful memories, repeating them again and again, causing the sufferer to sink lower and lower.
In the case of grief, there is currently an argument for bereavement leave to be more flexible and also made a legal requirement for employers to give up to 4 weeks leave. The reason for this is because we all grieve in different ways and different periods of time for different people. For example, if you have a parent who has had cancer for the last 10 years, and has unfortunately been steadily deteriorating for the last several weeks, although you aren’t prepared for the loss, you have had time to come to terms with the inevitable.
This in theory, although tragic, means you’d take bereavement leave immediately and for however long you needed. If however a relative died suddenly, for example a heart attack or an accident, sometimes you can go into shock, and unlike most forms of shock, where you go into a daze for a few hours, this type of shock can last for weeks or even months. Continuing your life, going to work, coming home, and then, suddenly, it hits you. Implementing the rule of grief above would allow you to speak to your employer, however far down the line, and basically say, “I need some time off. I’m ready to grieve”.
When we don’t grieve, we harbour so many awful feelings that eventually build up, and sink us like a ship into an ocean of isolation and ultimately depression. This depression is similar to the way in which Post Traumatic Stress Disorder works. If you don’t deal with the initial cause, the depression that will inevitably follow will be far worse, and much harder to overcome.
If you have found yourself in the grips of the latter type of depression, you’ll have to seek medical help. Your GP can give you sound advice, and also will be able to refer you to a specialist. This specialist will help you overcome the depression, and also guide you through your grief.
Victims of rape or violent sexual assault are also highly at risk of severe, clinical depression. This can also manifest itself with PTSD, panic attacks and anxiety related illnesses all co-occurring. Again, the shock of such a thing can take a while to wear off, however, once it does, not dealing with it immediately will have serious consequences.
Fortunately, there is a great deal of very good therapists out there specializing in this field, and they can help you through some of the darkest times.
In a work environment, such as being bullied, losing your job or being made redundant, depression most often comes from either a lack of professional progression, for example being overlooked for a promotion, or it comes from money problems.
The recession has seen a massive rise in people with depression due to money problems, with the vast majority having to choose between paying the mortgage/rent, and eating. While this has proved to be quite catastrophic for a lot of people, it’s something that could require just a change of situation, for example, taking on some extra hours or finding another job. When ‘professional’ depression is occurring, it always manifests itself in you no longer care about your job, or the standards to which you do your work.
This can often result in a lack of interest, calling in ill on a regular basis because you simply can’t be bothered going in, sleepless nights, decreased appetite and irritability.
Now, although there are medications out there to combat depression, in the case of work related depression, unless severe, the best thing you can do is exercise. Exercise releases endorphins, which is a happy hormone, and happy people tend to do better in their work.
When a relationship is either at an end or struggling, this can also make us more anxious and depressed, especially when in an abusive relationship. In a relationship that’s simply run its course, you have two options, seek guidance with a relationship counsellor, or break up and go your separate ways. In the case of an abusive relationship, the only thing you can do is move on. In this case, you’ll feel like the world has suddenly become light again after so long being completely dark, often leading to an almost euphoric feeling.
This feeling doesn’t last forever, however, once it wears off, you can sometimes find yourself sinking into a type of depression. In most cases, the comedown wears off and you gradually rise back to a normal level, however, in some cases, where the sufferer goes into a type of PTSD, professional help should be sought, as these professionals, similar to those for victims of rape, assault and bereavement, are specialists in relationships, violent or not.
Now there is one final thing that all sufferers of depression need to know. Alcohol is a false friend. Yes, it does block everything out for a period, it does numb the pain, and it does knock you out, but it is also a depressant. Now I’m not saying go tee total, but be aware that alcohol can drive your depression further and further down.
By all means, enjoy a glass of wine, but don’t get completely drunk, for alcohol impedes your judgement and rational thinking, and makes you highly more volatile and more likely to harm yourself.
If you do feel you are suffering from a type of depression, be that through your own grief, professionally, personally or for any other reason, please be sure to speak to someone, be that your GP, a therapist, or confidentially with a volunteer at a charity such as Samaritans.