It’s Not Unusual

Depression help – All of us suffer from depression from time to time; we wouldn’t be human if we didn’t occasionally feel down. Of course, the condition takes many forms and can manifest itself in numerous ways. And some of us are prone to suffer more than others. Winston Churchill, for instance, used to suffer from regular bouts of depression which he referred to as his black dog.

In most instances, this feeling of sadness, which can be triggered by almost any experience or event, will subside and the feelings won’t interfere with our lives. But if they simply don’t go away, or keep coming back, and impact on our quality of life, this could very well be a sign that we are in fact depressed in the medical sense of the word.

The many forms of depression that are now widely recognised include the following:

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) – People sometimes become depressed during the autumn and winter due to a lack of sunshine.

Postnatal Depression – Postnatal depression can occur any time between two weeks and two months after giving birth.

Bipolar Disorder – Often described as manic depression, Bipolar Disorder isn’t uncommon and can be diagnosed when someone has constant and fairly drastic mood swings from being depressed one moment to being in a state of high excitement, the next.

As many as one in 20 of us become clinically depressed, and figures suggest that women are more prone to suffer (though this may be down to the fact that men find it difficult to admit to or talk about the subject).

What are the symptoms?

It’s not always so easy to recognise the symptoms of depression because these can manifest themselves in physical problems. Very often, for example, some of us are unable to come to terms with something that has affected us emotionally, and as a result our feelings aren’t expressed. Instead we internalise these feelings, and by doing so our depression actually makes us physically unwell.

How to fight depression

Staying active and occupying the brain really can help enormously. So make sure you take part in physical activity for at least 20 minutes every day. Whether it’s playing sports, going to the gym, cycling, swimming or just brisk walking, you’ll be stimulating the chemicals in the brain, known as endorphins, and these can help you feel better again.

Another way to tackle depression is to think positively by treating yourself from time to time, and by paying attention to your personal appearance. Diet will also help, so eat healthily. Oily fish such as mackerel, sardines, trout and salmon are all good sources of Omega fatty acids, which can also alleviate depression.

Then, of course, there are a host of alternative therapies, which can help the body relax. Acupuncture, massage and clinical hypnotherapy can very often play a significant part in this respect. Others swear by homeopathy and herbal remedies like St John’s Wort. But before trying any of these, talk to your GP who will almost certainly know which would be most suitable and will be able to recommend someone who is qualified.

Alex Pearl is a freelance copywriter and is the author of ‘Sleeping with the Blackbirds.’