No one likes to talk about depression because, well, it is depressing. But not talking about it can be very dangerous.
On the spectrum of human emotions (and there over 34 000 defined by psychology), depression can be a sneaky one as it can disguise itself in many ways. Sometimes it comes out as anger, resentment or frustration. Other times it can come out as humour, sarcasm or even happiness. Painted smiles can hide years of hurt and sadness. We have become so good at twisting and distorting our true nature to function in our modern society.
So how do you know if you are depressed?
If you think you are depressed, you probably are.
And it is ok. It certainly does not define you, nor should you let.
Sometimes we think of emotions as static objects, much like our clothes. Today, I am wearing a black shirt with high-waisted guilt and peep-toe anger. Our Emotions are so much more complicated than this. They are like clouds, ever-moving and ever-changing.
When should you get help?
The simplest way to realise you might need help is when the things that once gave you joy no longer do.
It is important to note that there is no cure for depression, just like there is no cure for the flu. We have all felt depressed in some way. Happy people can feel depressed and depressed people can feel happy. It ultimately comes down to a choice, how do you want to feel right now?
What help is there?
When people think of depression, what often comes to mind is therapy and anti-depressants, but those are not the only options. They are certainly the more popular ones because they are often the most effective for managing depression.
It is necessary to understand that our body and mind are not two separate things. What happens to the one has an immediate and systemic effect on the other. What we eat can affect how we feel and how we feel can affect what we eat. What is commonly known as stress-eating or over-indulging is an example of this.
So, here are some other things to consider that will help you manage mild depression:
- Get some sun.
- Move your body
- Eat foods that come from the earth – not processed and packaged
- Talk to a friend or someone with whom you can confide.
- Ask for help.
JK Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series, channelled her depression into the writing and creation of the dementors. Dark creatures that are, glory in decay and despair, drain peace, hope and happiness out of the air around them. Exert from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
And the way to defend against a dementor was with the use of a Patronus Charm – bringing to mind a strong, positive memory or a happy thought.