How does depression affect me?
In life, it’s easy to feel down. When things aren’t going our way personally or professionally, we can feel as if we are not making enough progress to justify our position.
That’s a tough place to be mentally, and for many people it can lead to a whole host of personal issues.
However, what about when your poor mood simply will not life – does it appear to be chronic.
Then you might wish to think about the possibility that you suffer from depression.
In this article, we’ll help you to understand what depression is, so that you can determine where you are at physically and mentally.
What is depression?
The word itself as a sense of ‘low mood, loss of pleasure, constant guilt and low self-esteem’.
As you might imagine, that is an explosive cocktail to carry in the mind for those who find it hard to rest and recover. If you feel this constant sense of mental drain, it’s hard to overcome those feelings of loss, senselessness and upset.
Depression, then, is a form of mental illness that has grown massively in recent times.
This comes from the fact that, for many people, depression is now being spoken about and genuinely noticed.
For years, misdiagnosis and a lack of care was a prevalent part of society.
People were recommended to have a ‘stiff upper lip’ and to ‘just get on with it’ – but today, we know this is not the right path to curing or handling depression.
It’s a challenging subject to talk about and to take on for a lot of people. This has become a major issue across the world, though, not just in Malaysia.
Today, depression affects many people – though they might not even realise it. It’s a major part of mental health discourse today, as people become more aware of it.
Depression has many different signs and symptoms, but it can be hard to determine if you are truly depressed.
Because many of the depression symptoms can be seen as something else. Like most damaging mental illnesses, the signs of depression can be hard to determine.
It’s easy to conflate those issues and the feelings that you have with other illnesses, or even just a bad day.
For most people, the secret to handling depression stems from if the feeling persists. We can all have a tough time: but if you feel like you never have a good time, it might be time to reach out.
Many people see depression as an overblown condition, as it’s hard to meet someone who admits to having depression.
While that might be the case, this is a condition that affects a large amount of people.
Indeed, in Malaysia, it’s estimated that around 29% of Malaysians suffer from damaging depression.
And this is expected to grow, too: the stress of life and the general challenges that we face on a day-to-day basis can make it hard to overcome the pain and stress of depression.
Many of us don’t even realise that we are suffering from depression, either: in many of us, it manifests itself as anxiety. Indeed, according to a study, up to 65% of depression is actually diagnosed as anxiety.
There is a significant difference between depression and anxiety, though, so we ask that you keep that in mind. Make sure you get a genuine diagnosis, as it’s important to make sure your depression is noted.
You might believe that depression is a rare condition. According to the Hope for Depression Research Foundation, depression makes up 99% of all mind-brain conditions.
Signs and symptoms
There are many signs and symptoms to look out for when it comes to depression. While many of these symptoms could relate to another condition, it’s not always the case.
With that in mind, we recommend that you take a look at these signs and symptoms.
They might not point to depression. A continued feeling of the following symptoms, though, could point to depression.
For most people suffering from depression, the following feelings will be all-too familiar:
– A sense of tiredness and a fatigue, both physically and mentally, that never seems to lift.
-A feeling of sadness that is hard to escape from, as you find it hard to stay happy.
– Inability to concentrate and to pay attention to things that would normally spark an interest.
– Poor self-esteem levels, with an inability to see anything that you are genuinely good at.
– A sense of endless anxiousness and discomfort, often without any real cause or reason.
– Lack of contact with people who you would normally interact with on a daily basis.
– A sense of hopelessness – even when you cannot quite pinpoint what you feel hopeless about.
– Sleeping issues – either sleeping too much, or finding it impossible to get to sleep at night.
– Feelings of guilt, shame, and personal distress – even when there is no reason to feel this way.
– No desire to eat, drink, get active, or do anything in a way that would benefit your body.
– A loss of desire to learn, to develop, and to interact with yourself in any meaningful way.
– No desire to spend time with people, even those you would normally love to see.
– Feelings of self-harm and even suicidal thinking.
While these could be related to other condition, a long-term combination can point to depression.
Of course, the challenge with dealing with depression is the cause often feels hard to pinpoint.
We could be depressed for any number, or any collection, of reasons. You could find that your depression is built around a personal issue or a professional failing.
You might even find that it comes down to biological issues.
For example, it is possible to be genetically disposed to suffer from depression.
Other factors could include long-term societal issues. For example, if you had problems as a child, then this could stem into your adult life without noticing.
Another reason could stem from a lack of real possibility, personally or professionally.
Depression, though, is hard to simply put a label on.
For most of us, the challenge is working out where our issues stem from. To do that, you often need some form of assistance from a professional who understands the challenge of depression.
One of the main causes often comes from financial woes.
Money makes the world go around, as they say, and a lack of financial protection can lead to depression.
When you cannot find gainful employment, it’s easy to feel worthless. Like you cannot contribute or help out others.
This, though, is a dangerous place to be mentally – and it often puts you in harms way.
Your depression could also come down to a change in personal circumstance. For example, the loss of a loved one, or the end of a long-term relationship, could bring about depression.
The challenge is often working out what personal and professional circumstances led you to this point.
If you work out where the issues stem from, though, it’s easier to correct these problems.
For that reason, we recommend that you consider looking into support for your depression.
Can counselling help?
For a lot of people, depression feels like something that they can never escape. Part of the reason for that comes from an inability to communicate with others about why you are depressed.
If you cannot work it out in your own mind as to why you are depressed, how can you reach out for help?
Counselling, though, is often the best way to help combat and deal with depression.
If you are someone who worries about not getting help with depression, you’ll be pleased to know many forms of counselling exist.
Simply opening up to someone and answering their questions as to why you feel the way that you do can be a huge help to you in the long run.
Simply by being able to ask ‘why?’ and to work backwards through life, you can find solace. One of the main reasons why counselling works so well, though, is the individual you talk to.
For example, those with depression – due to low self-esteem – will not ask friends/family for help. Seeing yourself as a burden, it’s easy to think that you will simply weigh down those who care about you. So, you keep the problems to yourself. A counsellor, though, does not know you personally. Therefore, they have no personal biases, or knowledge of the people you speak about.
That dispassionate expertise is essential to combatting depression. Free from knowing the people that you mention, counsellors offer advice that is neutral. It is built on what you tell them, instead of their in-depth knowledge of your personal and professional life.
So, if you are one of the many dealing with depression, you do not have to fight this alone.
With the help of counselling, you could soon come out the other side. You just need to be willing to talk to someone, and to admit that you need help.
As soon as you do that, you’ll be on the path to positive recovery.
Professional Licensed Counselor
Hany Cheng is a professional licensed counselor based in Klang Valley, Malaysia. Hany Cheng has accumulated more than 10 years experience as a mental health counselor by providing exceptional and result driven counseling services to her clients.
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