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How Do I Know If I’ve Got It?
Depression is more than just a period of feeling down – it is something that can dominate the mind, body and soul, changing the way you think and behave. It can impact on every part of your life. Often people who are depressed don’t enjoy things they used to, lose their libido, have little energy, can’t sleep or eat, feel anxious, feel worthless, gain weight and more. Most people simply get used to living this way and accept it. But if you feel you do suffer as a result, there is help. If we realise that a good mood doesn’t just happen – it’s something we need to actively nurture. You can eventually snap out of it.
Some symptoms of depression may be:
Lack of energy or chronic tiredness.
Trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep.
Disinterest in sex or other activities you used to enjoy.
Increased levels of anxiety.
Difficulty concentrating or making decisions.
Overuse of alcohol and other drugs.
Loss of appetite or overeating.
Feelings of helplessness or hopelessness.
Recurrent thoughts about death.
If you have several of these symptoms, see your doctor.
You may have had something happen in your life that has caused you to be in this condition. You may have become depressed because your life has not turned out the way you wanted. Sometimes what you need isn’t available or if you feel unneeded or unappreciated which can lead to the lack of motivation.
Depression can affect many people in different ways, and it has many causes. Sadness is a natural feeling that needs to be acknowledged. Often during these times you may be at a point where you simply want to give up and find it very difficult to do anything, including getting out of bed. When someone gets depressed, they are not functioning normally.
The self-image you have of yourself will be negative. You may cry or lose your temper very easily. It is very difficult to do everyday things and often lose interest in life itself. Your doctor can help you get a grip on depression and assess whether you should seek further professional aid. Talk to a trusted friend or family member if you can. Here are some tips on overcoming and learning how to deal with depression:
* Do you expect too much from yourself? Nobody is perfect, so if you expect perfection from yourself, you may be disappointed. You should believe in yourself and set realistic goals which you can tackle a little at a time.
* Do you like yourself? You should like yourself because you are unique and special in your own ways. If someone has made you feel inferior, you may have been too young to understand or unconsciously allowed them to take power away from you by their actions or words.
* Accept yourself as you are and also accept your emotions – realize that the opinion of yourself may have come from somewhere else and claim your power back by giving yourself love and respect.
* Do you trust yourself? If you lack confidence and trust in yourself, it may be caused by mistakes made in your past. Sometimes situations happen which cause us to be more careful next time, even to the point where we no longer trust ourselves to do something well. Try to build your confidence with positive self talk and visualizing an image of yourself doing the job or what ever it may be you fear. You do not have to succeed at the first go, imagine taking a lesson and practicing until you get it right. Trust will come as you become more experienced.
* Are you sitting back waiting for life to come to you? Many people are busy working in their own lives, improving their own situations and only occasionally going out of their way to make someone else’s life special. If you have had a special someone looking after you for a long time, you may be hesitant to become independent enough to go out and make it happen for yourself. Some people may have the good life of having a strong support from others. But many don’t, so if you want to succeed, you will have to get up and do it yourself, no-one can make you do it and it’s not likely that any one will come along and place it on your lap. Motivation will have to come from you.
* Do you expect people to do things for you? It’s fine to have help and it’s fine to have someone around who cares enough about you to try to keep you happy. But when your expectations aren’t met, you may become disappointed. Be appreciative when someone helps you and understand that you will be appreciated more for your own skillful accomplishments. Be the ‘go getter’ and see what happens when you do something for someone else.
* Do you set unreasonable goals? You cannot instantly become rich and famous. Study the life of someone who has succeeded in their life and you will find most of them took little steps and followed a set of goals one stage at a time. It may seem to the public that someone has become famous overnight, but the truth is that their plans and goals would have been in action for a long time, working hard (with enthusiasm).
* Are you hiding your true self? You may become depressed by not allowing your true personality to shine. Look into your heart and find what it is you want to do and take small steps towards becoming that person.
* Do you undervalue your abilities or looks? Sometimes you might say you can’t do something and yet you’ve never given it a go. Take a chance and try something new and if you don’t succeed, try again until you do. If your physical appearance is not like a model from a magazine, that doesn’t mean you are not as beautiful. Magazines use models to try sell products to make you believe you can be what they are. Even a model can be ugly when she frowns. Smile and accept your beauty as unique, because it is.
* Do you blame yourself for a mistake? Accept that we all make mistakes and often it is from lack of experience. If you harbor a grudge against yourself, you will only hurt yourself more. Forgive yourself and let it go. Are you holding grudges against others? You may be causing your depression by staying angry at someone. Anger takes away your happiness, so be fair to yourself by forgiving and forgetting.