Common depression symptoms
1) Social Withdrawal
Social withdrawal is a common depression symptom whereby a person isolates themselves from friends and family. Withdrawing socially however is the exact opposite of what we need.
Do all you can to put something sociable in the diary and see other people. You don’t have to be out every day but the more we interact with others, the better our mood becomes. I have had to literally FORCE myself to see others when I have felt low and it has always ended up making me feel a lot better.
2) Negative Thinking/Filter
Depression leads us to see things in a much more negative light than we normally would do. We suddenly have heightened awareness of everything that isn’t working and we become astutely aware of all our failings and insecurities.
It is important to tell yourself that your thinking is ‘off’ at the moment and not to take your thinking too seriously. Everything seems to be awful, a failure and a catastrophe when we are feeling depressed.
3) Self Soothing in counter-productive ways
Drinking, drugs, gambling…whatever means of escape we find necessary to feel better. The problem is that the symptoms are eased for a short time and we end up feeling worse.
Find productive ways to improve your mood like exercise or seek out a therapist or counsellor to talk to.
4) Being less active
Exercise is one of the best ways to manage depression. When we get depressed though we tend to engage in all the behaviours that don’t work for us. Exercise boosts the feel good hormones – serotonin and dopamine….so get moving to feel better.
Depression can leave you feeling hopeless but it can be treated. Take small steps to fight against depression by getting out a little, eating well, doing exercise and speaking to friends and family. If depression persists then seek medical help.