Many people make contact with Birmingham Counselling Services because they are feeling depressed. Depression is not one simple, easy to recognise complaint, like a broken leg. It is an illness can affect your entire life. If you are suffering from depression, you could be finding it difficult to perform your normal every day activities, such as caring for your family, going to work, or enjoying your hobbies or the company of your friends. Treatments are available for depression, including medication and/or therapy sessions with a qualified counsellor. There is a big difference between simply feeling a bit depressed from time to time, something which we all experience, and the constant numbness or negativity which indicate the more serious condition.
This article has not been written by a medical doctor, it is not intended to enable you to self-diagnose depression but below are listed some of the common symptoms which people with depression experience:
These symptoms can also indicate other medical conditions. Do not attempt to self-diagnose, always visit your GP for a professional investigation and diagnosis.
If you have depression you might notice that you feel lethargic or fatigued on a regular basis, even after getting a full night’s sleep. You find that you simply don’t have the energy to take care of your housework, do a good job at work, or go out with your friends. If you feel that simply living your life takes more energy than you can muster, it could be that treatment for depression might help. Depression is not the only condition indicated by fatigue – consult your doctor so that all the possibilities can be investigated.
Feelings of Sadness or Hopelessness
Do you find yourself crying regularly, feeling sad about life about in general? Things seem bleak and hopeless, and you have forgotten what it feels like to be happy. It is common for people experiencing depression to lose interest in activities they once enjoyed, and to feel that life in general is overwhelming.
People with depression sometimes have trouble remembering small details. They can have difficulty concentrating and making decisions. It can be difficult to accomplish tasks at work, to decide what to do at a particular time, or to work out how to take part in previously enjoyable activities. Awareness of these issues can lead to a sense of hopelessness as you struggle to complete tasks that were easily accomplished in the past.
Recently depression has been found to have possible links to a variety of physical symptoms, such as general aches and pains or frequent headaches. Again, it is very important to consult you doctor – never assume that you know what the cause of these symptoms is without the appropriate professional examinations and tests.
Irritability and Anxiety
Depression can also cause you to be irritable. You might find that you are annoyed by simple things that you tolerate without a problem when you are feeling well. You develop an increased sensitivity to noise, or avoid spending time with your children, or suddenly dislike driving because other drivers annoy you so much. Depression often occurs alongside anxiety, and many people find that they are more anxious during periods of depression. Your doctor might well be able to recommend suitable medication to treat both anxiety and depression so be sure to make an appointment and to describe your symptoms as clearly as you can.
Left untreated depression can last a long time, and potentially lead to protracted sick leave, family difficulties, self-harm, and even suicidal thoughts. To repeat what has been said before, it is very important that you see a doctor if you are experiencing some of the symptoms listed above. Depression might well go away of its own accord eventually, but your doctor should be able to help speed up the cure.
Depression is typically treated with medication, therapy, or a combination of the two. Once your GP is familiar with your condition s/he can recommend a course of action to treat your particular case, so that you can get back to enjoying life again.
If you decide to self-medicate with herbal or homeopathic remedies, e.g. St John’s Wort, you must be very careful to check their impact on any other medication you are taking. Again, you need professional advice for this.
If you decide to investigate the therapeutic route, the “talking cure”, you might like to get in touch with Birmingham Counselling Services. One of our qualified and experienced counsellors will be glad to support you. You can reach us via our website: www.BirminghamCounsellingServices.co.uk or by calling us on 0121 314 9903.