It’s a scary question.
It’s a scary question because it means admitting to yourself, and to others, that you might have mental health issues. This in itself can feel like a life altering realisation without considering the external factors brought about by the perception of others.
Depression is an unfortunately overused term that many use as hyperbole to convey something they find negative.
Our propensity for adding flourish to our anecdotes has had the side effect of trivialising what having and living with depression really means.
Similarly, because of the stigma surrounding mental health issues, society has a habit of downplaying feelings of depression or low mood as individuals just being ‘down in the dumps’.
However well-intentioned comments like these are, they actually devalue the individual, worsening feelings of isolation, low self-worth and general low mood.
It’s important to recognise that how you feel is real. If these feelings are persistent then it isn’t just a bad day, you are not overreacting.
Equally, understand that there is no definitive list of symptoms but rather a long list of potential symptoms. Memes shared on Facebook making sweeping statements about what depression is or feels like are just a single perception or experience.
350 million people around the world will experience a form of depression at some point in their lives. There is no catch all diagnosis so don’t devalue your feelings because they don’t conform to someone else’s interpretation.
If you are having persistent feelings of low mood, hopelessness or even anxiety (excessive worrying, panic attacks etc.), you are not alone.
Whilst less than half of those with depression, globally, get the support they need, the UK has a range of services available, most of which are free to access.
In addition to NHS funded services such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and counselling; there is also support in the form of mental health charities.
Whilst acknowledging that you have some challenges is the first step, engaging with those who can support you has to be a close second.
In most instances this will mean booking an appointment with your GP. Some services, like Steps2Wellbeing, allow you to self-refer which can cut down on waiting times.
Prior to your appointment it is worth trying to order some of your thoughts and feelings to help better convey your situation.
- How you would rate your overall mood?
- How frequently you feel low or anxious?
- How severe those feelings are?
- If you’re recognise any patterns or triggers.
- Whether or not you have thoughts of harming yourself or others.
It is also worth considering the kind of help you would like or a preferred approach. Whilst medication as a short term solution is common, it isn’t for everyone and you shouldn’t feel obligated to accept it if it’s offered.
Whichever the route, the important thing is that you seek advice and support as soon as possible.
If you or someone you know are experiencing challenges or would like additional advice contact us today and one of the team will be happy to help you.