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The depths of depression

Many people don’t understand what it means to be truly depressed. At times they may even feel frustrated with the people around them that are really struggling. There can often be lack of understanding when it comes to individuals not achieving daily tasks. Sometimes people can even feel frustrated because they think these individuals are ‘not helping themselves’ or not ‘trying to get better’. At times those that don’t understand depression can be dismissive and take a ‘pull yourself together’ approach.

Can you imagine how painful that is if you are literally drowning????

Depression is real. It is all consuming. It is powerful and it is lethal. It takes away a person’s self-confidence. It destroys their self-worth and self-esteem. It tells them daily– that they aren’t good enough. They aren’t loved or cared about. And on top of that – it tells them they are weak. It shouts at them. Screams at them even. What is wrong with you? You should be able to handle this. Why are you so weak?

Depression is cruel. It isolates people and it cuts them off from friends and family. Before they know it, they stop talking. They become more and more inward. And when they do engage, they lash out. Angry, frustrated and hurt. Depression makes people feel unwanted and unloved and cared about. It causes paranoia to increase and insecurities to rise. It makes people doubt those they once never did. It causes arguments, stress and tension.

Depression impacts enjoyment – its loves to steal joy. What people once got pleasure out of – they now find a huge chore. What they once enjoyed doing – they suddenly can’t face or make time for. The smallest of task can feel so huge. Being around people can feel too much. Yet being with people can feel exhausting. Depression is so exhausting. Its relentless. It tires you in a way you can never explain – yet you cannot sleep. Because when you try – the thoughts don’t stop. The chatter is never quiet. The self-doubt rises. The insecurities creep in – your head won’t let you rest.

Depression leads people into dark places – and those dark places include addictions – alcohol, drugs, nicotine, eating disorders – they can all escalate with depression. They begin to spiral out of control and take away a person’s personality. Bit by bit that person becomes lost and they also become dependent. Dependent on the substance of choice. And in turn that makes depression ten times worse.

Depression impacts people’s ability to work, to perform, to be productive. It takes away the ability to do things well. It leads to mistakes being made; things being overlooked. It causes people to feel inadequate and to often miss what is right in front of them. Forgetfulness, lateness, absent mindedness, a struggle to concentrate. It is all real. It is all consuming. Depression. Not so easy to just get over after all. Is it?

The biggest thing with depression is patience. Be patient with someone who is fighting that battle. Be kind, be compassionate and understanding. They don’t mean to lash out, or forget, or dismiss. They don’t mean to be critical or absent minded or to not be able to do things. They are hurting. They are lost and they are overwhelmed. It may seem simple to you – but to them it is so complicated.

There are things however that can help. So if you or someone you know is struggling with depression – then the following list can definitely make a difference –

• Talking – simplistic but true. As hard as It can be – sharing feelings. No matter how irrational they may feel or seem. Talking about what’s going on makes such a difference.

• Writing things down – from small manageable to do lists- to a keeping a journal of thoughts and feelings. Its amazing the difference it makes.

• Wind down time – taking a bath, lighting candles, reading a book. Slowing down and make you time a priority. It makes such a difference.

• Exercise – moderately of course. At first it can feel so hard for anyone to make this change. But introducing exercise – even a couple of times a week – can make a huge difference to emotional wellbeing.

• Eating properly. Even when people don’t feel like it – implementing the structure of three meals and three snacks a day can make such a difference. It ensures that the body is getting the right fuel that it needs.

• Working towards getting enough sleep – its easier said than done – but winding down before bed makes a huge difference. Relaxing as much as possible. A journal can also be useful to have by the bed for when people wake up in the night.

• Staying away from electronic devices as much as possible

• Limiting time on social media – it isn’t a healthy place to be when individuals are feeling down. It can make them feel even lower at times.

• Finding space for creativity – drawing, colouring, painting, making things – whatever suits people. It calms the mind, its very therapeutic an improves mindfulness.

• Working on mindfulness in general – being in the moment is such an important thing to be able to work towards and achieve. We get stressed and anxious when we worry about the past or the future. Focusing on the here and now will always make things so much easier.

• Slowing down – resting when individuals need too. Taking time for themselves when they need too.

• Making sure the work is in place to stay away from any additive behaviours. Things like alcohol will only make individuals feel lower and more down.

• Saying no when individuals need too – none of us have to agree to every commitment or say yes to every social event. Take some time out from the world. Things can wait.

• Take things step by step – bit by bit. Work through them gradually – one step at a time. The key is not letting things build up.

• The option to start seeing a therapist is always there too. Counselling can really make a positive difference. We are here to help with that. Our director Hayley will always talk things through personally with an individual. Call her on 07590 663938 or e mail

• Above all – remember you are not alone and remind yourself that you can get through this.