Depressed mood is a feature of some psychiatric syndromes such as major depressive disorder,but it may also be a normal reaction to life events such as bereavement, a symptom of some bodily ailments or a side effect of some drugs and medical treatments.
So I was thinking about depression today. And I was chatting about it to some clients. Many of the people I come across are feeling "down in the mouth" right now. Long, cold winter. Lack of Vitamin D from little sunshine. Many, many contributing factors can come together to make an individual suffer.
So when I was chatting with my clients, I mentioned that,to me, depression was the complete lack of hope.
When you are sad, it is easy to see a light at the end of the tunnel. Sad people say, "I'm having a rough time. But there are things to look forward to.These will help me feel better."
Depressed people say, "I've caused this rough time. Nothing is worth looking forward to. I don't deserve to feel better"
So when I googled the definition of Depression - I expected to see words like loss of hope, no future etc.... more that fit along with depression as I know it. The wikipedia definition above is a pretty good indicator of clinically what depression and depression disorders are all about.
But it lacked the nuances I was hoping for.
As I looked closely in the top corner was this line:
"Despair" redirects here. For other uses of despair, see Despair (disambiguation).
In other words, if you Wiki "despair" it will take you to depression.
See below the thesaurus meaning of despair:
the complete loss or absence of hope.
"driven to despair, he throws himself under a train"
synonyms: hopelessness, disheartenment, discouragement, desperation, distress, anguish, unhappiness; More
antonyms: hope, joy
verb: despair; 3rd person present: despairs; past tense: despaired; past participle: despaired; gerund or present participle: despairing
lose or be without hope.
"we should not despair"
synonyms: lose hope, abandon hope, give up, lose heart, lose faith, be discouraged, be despondent, be demoralized, resign oneself; be pessimistic
We got there. It was a little bit roundabout, but the ending was the same. The complete loss or absence of hope.
So.Very.Painful. Especially for those of us who have everything to hope for.If you are a normally exhuberant, joyful, and inherently hopeful person, depression is the ultimate kick in the gut. Because we know, rationally, there is nothing to be depressed about. But the hope is gone, nonetheless. And we feel like a failure. And unworthy. And hopeless.
I have somewhat regular "down" days with my chronic depression disorder. But although I battle to keep my mood even or even strive for good, these days are minor blips on my radar. You would probably never notice, even if you lived with me. I'm a pretty happy gal,all round.
But right now, and for a little bit now, I have been without hope. Working hard to keep my head above water at all times. But drowning in thick despair nonetheless.
So, I'm sharing because I know a lot of people are going through similar right now. And I am challenging you all to get on board with healthy choices to make you feel better. Nothing will bring back the hope until your mind and body begin to repair. But you yourself can light the flickers that show the light at the end of the tunnel. The beginnings of hope.
Below are a list of things that always work for me to help me through a rough patch of depression (or, well, any rough patch, big or small)
1. Surround yourself with people who understand. Not people who want to change you, and make it better. But who can accept the truth of what you are going through and walk beside you with love.
2. Eat to fuel your body and brain. Eat enough food, and stick to tasty, simple and healthful NATURAL foods. Avoid adding any chemicals to your body where ever possible.
3. Exercise. Exercise. Exercise. Best reason to exercise EVER. Do it in your home, go for a walk, do a dvd, drag yourself to a class, jump on your bike, dance. Whatever. Move and move as often as you can. Movement is a reminder of life. And to live, is to hope.
4. Put on music. Play music. Sing a song. Whatever your musical tastes and talents, turn on a beat that makes your heart sing. It's not going to cure anything, but it will take you into the moment. And music is life giving.
5. Find an animal. Grab your neighbours hedgehog if you must. Cuddle and stroke it for all it's worth. Time with animals is restoring and their eyes always tell you the truth.
6. Write about it. Ahem. My blog is usually the result of my needing to pour something out.
7. Ignore the voices. The ones that say you can't you shouldn't you're not good enough. They lie to you. Fear, doubt and depression are liars.
8. Seek help. Through a counsellor, trauma line, hospital, 911, call friends, don't be alone. You are worthy of being helped. And although you have lost all hope, those who love you have not.
Durham Mental Health Services
Phone (905) 666-0831
Toll Free: 1-855-888-DMHS (3647)
Distress Centre Durham
24 HR HelpLine
or contact 911 immediately if your safety is in jeopardy.
Find Your CORE!