Depression is a state of low mood and aversion to activity that can affect your thoughts, behaviour, feelings and sense of self. You can feel sad, anxious, and empty, without direction and a whole range of physical and emotional issues. No wonder it takes so long to diagnose! You find a loss of interest in activities that once were pleasurable, experience loss of appetite or overeating, have problems concentrating, remembering details, or making decisions. Suicide also becomes an option for some people with depression. Insomnia, excessive sleeping, fatigue, loss of energy, or aches, pains, or digestive problems may also affect you.
Although a mental health issue depression is not always psychiatric disorder. It may be a reaction to life events, a symptom of some medical conditions, or a side effect of some drugs.
Life changes like birth, menopause bereavement etc. can bring on depression, drugs to treat blood pressure and hormonal replacements do too, any condition that affects your sleep or creates chronic pain will add to any depressive state.
Depression can be a clinical condition too e.g. SAD, bipolar or borderline personality disorder. But however it manifests itself depression can be debilitating and life changing for whoever suffers from it.
The symptoms are endless but below are a few of the key one’s:
- Sadness – unable to feel happy in any circumstance, being tearful for no reason
- Irritable – fault finding and frustrated
- Insomnia or needing too much sleep
- Food issues – either overeating or loss of appetite
- Unable to make a decision – even about the smallest things
- Feeling worthless – about self, others, work, hobbies etc.
Depression needs to be diagnosed by your GP and can be treated with a variety of drugs, but always make sure you check out the side effects. Homeopathic and herbal medicines have a lot of useful recommendations for depression and there are other alternative remedies including acupuncture.
Meditation and affirmations often help with depression as an additional treatment. A simple mediation to relax the mind will help to alleviate the feelings of inadequacy, sadness and irritation.
- Find a peaceful and comfortable place and sit with your spine as straight as you can get it, some relaxing music may be helpful
- Concentrate on your breathing, listen to your breath in and out while trying to still your mind
- After a while concentrate on your head and slowly relax it – forehead, eyes, tongue, mouth and back of your head
- Move on to your shoulders, arms, hands and fingers
- Move on again to your torso, relaxing your chest stomach and spine
- Finally your lower body, relaxing your pelvis, legs, calf’s and feet
- Return to your breathing and just feel the rise and fall of your chest for a while. Then find some affirmations you like and repeat them in time with your breathing.
- When you are ready start to come back into the room, by listening out for background noises, then wiggle your hands and feet, finally very slowly open your eyes
The following affirmations as part of your meditation will start to rebuild your self-esteem.
- I am solely responsible for my happiness and I choose to be happy by freely and unconditionally offering and receiving love.
- I forgive anyone and everyone that I feel has wronged me whether this is reality or imagined
- I am grateful in this moment for these people, places, activities (name as many as you can)
- The change in my life has come. I am ready and able to live the life I love and cherish
- With every breath I take I feel stronger, wiser and lighter