Stepping Up to Mental Wellbeing

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Everyone deals with stress, anxiety or depression in different ways, and there’s no true set rule on how to deal with any of them.  We’ve all read countless online self-help articles touting themselves as being the ultimate list of how to do this or that.. when in reality, most are just rehashes of the same things over and over again.

One thing does ring true though regardless of which articles you read – If you don’t at least give them a shot, then you’ll never know if they truly make you feel more positive about your life, or even help move you down the road to your own happiness.

Side note – Happiness isn’t necessarily a destination, but more of a state of being.  And everyone’s ideal of happiness is different, so find your own happiness. 🙂

What is mental wellbeing?

Per the below NHS site, mental wellbeing is defined as such:

“Feeling happy is a part of mental wellbeing. But it’s far from the whole. Feelings of contentment, enjoyment, confidence and engagement with the world are all a part of mental wellbeing. Self-esteem and self-confidence are too.

“So is a feeling that you can do the things you want to do. And so are good relationships, which bring joy to you and those around you.

“Of course, good mental wellbeing does not mean that you never experience feelings or situations that you find difficult. But it does mean that you feel you have the resilience to cope when times are tougher than usual.”

Sarah Stewart-Brown, Professor of Public Health at the University of Warwick

Like anything in life, the more you put into something like your own well being, the more you’re likely to get out of it.  And if you’re waiting on someone else to ‘give’ you happiness, you’ll be waiting for your entire life.

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Steps to Mental Wellbeing

Below are a few suggestions we could all take to boost how we’re doing.  As previously mentioned, this isn’t an exhaustive list and some may work better for some people than others.

Connect with others

All too often when we’re feeling down or a bit blue, we’ll find ourselves pulling away from our loved ones.  Instead reach out to the people around you, be them family, friends, colleagues or neighbours.  Just be willing to make that step to open up the lines of communication.

Be active

This isn’t necessarily about going to the gym or starting some massive work out regime.  It’s more about just finding an activity that you enjoy and incorporate into you daily life – take a walk, go for a bike ride, go for a swim, and so forth.

Keep learning

Sometimes all you might need is to boost your own wellbeing is to engage your mind in something constructive.  It could be learning a new skill, taking a hobby class , getting that certification you’ve been dreaming about.  Or maybe just read that book gathering dust on your bedside table.

Volunteering your time

Being a volunteer in any capacity can not only help you feel like you’re contributing more to your community, but it’s a goldmine for networking.  But you don’t even have to go so far as to actually volunteer – sometimes the smallest thing, like smiling at a stranger or giving a kind word to something, can make the world a difference.

Be in the present

This could be called ‘mindfulness’, but it’s mostly about being aware of what is going around you at any given moment.  This can include the world around you, local/national/international politics, your thoughts or feelings, and most importantly, your own body.  However, don’t allow yourself to get so immersed in this that you block out other parts of life, as that’ll have an averse affect.

This post has been influenced by — Five steps to mental wellbeing – Stress, anxiety and depression – NHS choices

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Things That Happen When You Don’t Sleep Enough

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Everyone at some point in their lives will suffer from a lack a sleep.  It could be as simple as having trouble dropping off at night, or waking up in the middle of the night and not being back to get back to sleep, or even to the extreme – full blown insomnia.

It’s ok.  It happens to us all. But what matters is how you deal with the sleeplessness itself.. as well as the effects it can happen in your daily life if you don’t.

And it goes beyond just the feelings of being tired, cranky, hungry, and irritable. Or even just needing a good cup of coffee to wake you up.

Here are a few things that can happen when you’re not getting enough sleep.

You get yourself into trouble at work

annoyed-300x200When you’re not getting enough sleep, you’re more likely to become irritable at work and possibly engage in deviant behaviour that could leave you vulnerable to disciplinary action (in extreme circumstances).

You’re basically more likely to cut corners, find the easy way to complete your work, gossip unnecessarily about co-workers, be disrespectful to your bosses, or possibly even steal from your work place.

The best thing to do is to just give yourself a few moments to think about the situation before taking any actions.  You’ll thank yourself for it later on.

Slowly, you get depressed

The relationship is complex – depression may cause sleep problems and sleep problems may cause or contribute to depressive disorder. Lack of sleep or inability to get to sleep can be a red-flag for depression as it can lead to increased tension, irritability, fatigue, less exercise, and a lower level of vitality and fitness.

Best course of action is to ensure you maintain your daily routines, especially if it includes some sort of activity or exercise to get your blood pumping.  The endorphins it’ll release will help halt the onset of a depressive period, as well as help tire you out so you’ll have a better night’s sleep.

You overeat and get fat(ter)

When you’re not sleeping well, you can make some bad food choices, be it having a late night snack while still laying awake, or justifying allowing yourself that double cheeseburger for lunch the next day because you had such a horrible night.

Sleeplessness can actually affect your hormones, mostly an increase in ghrelin (tells you when to eat) and a decrease in leptin (tells you when to stop eating). The best thing to do is to eat healthy and normally when you’re not sleeping well.  Your waistline will appreciate it.

You’re a risk behind the wheel

Obviously when you’re not sleeping well, you can be a danger to yourself and others on the roads because your judgement can be impaired.

Sleepy driverWhen you’re driving and you’re sleep deprived, it can be the equivalent of driving while intoxicated. Your reactions and your ability to recognise dangers on the road are slower, and could potentially cause an accident.

If you can, take public transport or let someone else drive who’s had a good night’s sleep.  If that’s not possible, like your job involves a lot of driving, then do yourself and other drivers a favour and take your time on the roads.

Your testosterone dips (for men)

A lack of adequate sleep can affect a man’s testosterone levels, and in effect, affect their sex drive or their vitality for life.  A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that men who were only allowed 5 hours sleep a night had testosterone levels dip 10 to 15%.  This is because testosterone levels are generally replenished while sleeping.

Love sleep(Unfortunately the study mentioned above didn’t look at the effects of sleeplessness on women, so unsure if they would have the same reactions or not.)

So here are a couple simple tricks to help you on your way to a healthy night’s sleep on a regular basis:

  • Avoid too much caffeine, especially later in the day,as it can linger in your system up to 12 hours after consumption;
  • Ensure your bed is comfortable and is your ‘nest’. A dark, cool, ‘work-free’ environment is best;
  • Set yourself a nightly sleep routine to help you wind-down before heading off to sleep.

This post was inspired by the article – 5 Crazy & Weird Things That Happen When You Don’t Sleep Enough.

New Year, New Mentality

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Just like most people, I look forward to New Years as a way to put the previous twelve months behind me and hopefully move forward with my life.

Or at least that’s what I try to tell myself.

This year, more than any other, I find that I need to revitalise myself and my attitude towards life.  That I really need to put the past to bed, and try to move ahead with where I want my life to go.

Easier said (or written) than done to be honest.

The past week between Christmas and New Years has been quite rough for me, and not just because of the sadness or loneliness I felt over the holidays.  Though it does play a big part in things.

don't chase peopleI’m not going to go into intricate details, but while feeling down last Saturday I had a blow-up with one of my mates.  Due to my own feelings of abandonment, I ended up lashing out about how I was feeling causing him to storm out of the coffee shop.  He then messaged that he no longer wanted to be my friend, and then blocked me from being able to contact him.

That really hurt.

But the more I thought about it, the more it was inevitable due to my pushing him with my anger and resentment towards my life and the world around me.  I let my emotions and insecurities get the better of me, and there was no way to change what happened (I tried to apologise obviously..).

All I really needed in that moment was someone to listen to how I was feeling, help me talk through the thoughts in my head.  And maybe a cuddle or two.

However, after it happened and I got over the initial shock of his response, I surprisingly felt quite calm.  As if that was exactly what I needed to vent the emotions I’d been bottling up over the holidays, and for the remainder of the weekend heading into New Year’s Eve, I didn’t feel as upset or angry as I was.

Ok, so the feelings didn’t completely go away overnight.  Was more that it was a wake up call about how I was reacting to things as they happened.  That I was kind of looking at the world as if it owed me something, like I had a sense of entitlement about how people should act towards me.

LifeIsPainful2And what this did was help me realise that it was all bullshit.  That the feelings themselves, although valid and real from my point of view, were stupid and only in my own head.  That I can’t expect people to be there for me when I’m feeling down if all I’m going to do is be angry about life.

And that the only person I can truly rely on to be there for me is ME, so I need to ensure I can approach my issues with a calm and level head.

Now do I still think I need to talk to a professional about everything I’ve been thinking and feeling over the past while?  Of course I do, but at least now it doesn’t feel like a life or death situation.

Don’t worry.  I haven’t necessarily been feeling suicidal, but I could easily see where certain thoughts could have lead down that path.  And that scared the shit out of me.

So now it’s a new year, and hopefully this means some new beginnings while putting the past behind me.  It’s not going to be an easy thing, but fingers crossed I can get where I need to be for me.

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Feeling Funky.. and Not in a Good Way

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Life can be hard at times for pretty much everyone, though it can be harder for some than others.

However I sometimes wonder if I’m subconsciously making my life harder than it really needs to be.  That I let my emotions and negative thoughts take over my active behaviours, which sometimes leads me to pushing people away when I don’t mean to.

I’ve been thinking about this quite a bit over the past few days as I spend the holidays alone.  A couple of close friends stayed in town this year as well, but instead of us getting together like I tried to suggest, they each chose to spend the day on their own.

This was not a great feeling, and although I tried not to, I took it as a personal affront that they (seemingly) couldn’t be bothered to just spend the day together. Christmas is a time to spend with loved ones, be it family or friends, and I actually felt abandoned.

It wasn’t about doing some massive Christmas dinner or whatever, but more about having some friendly company.  Or at least it was for me.

What I found though, as I spent the past two days completely alone, that my emotions were getting the better of me.  I was sad and angry at the same time, and anyone who sent me a cheery Christmas greeting got a response full of sadness and negativity.

I couldn’t help it.  All I could focus on over the past couple days was how everyone else was out there enjoying their loved ones while I sat at home alone.

One person messaged me that I should have told them I was going to be alone at Christmas.. to which I replied that if they’d wanted me at theirs for Christmas, then they should have invited me.  That I shouldn’t have to broadcast to the world that I’m alone at Christmas so I could end up with a pity invite.

Maybe that was the wrong response and reaction to their message, but it was a knee-jerk answer and the anger came out.  Of course this was the same person who said they were home alone as well.. with their husband.  That’s not being alone if you ask me.

Of course it didn’t help things whenever I’d log onto Facebook and saw all the happy families and groups of friends having fun with each other.  After awhile I just had to close the site, and couldn’t even bring myself to reply to messages from people I care about.

In the end, I had a marathon viewing of RuPaul’s Drag Race on Netflix over the past several days (finished series 3 lol), as that was the most un-Christmasy thing I could think of to watch.  Plus I was hoping it would cheer me up somewhat.

Christmas-AloneSadly it didn’t.

Anyway, now there’s less than a week left of 2014 and I need to find a way to turn this frown upside down.  The last thing I want to do is start a new year in such a pissed off mood.

And I most definitely don’t want to spend NYE all alone.. again (had a bad flu last year, so couldn’t go out).  That was probably just as bad a feeling, if not worse.

So here’s hoping I can get myself out of this funk.. If not, maybe it’s time to speak to the doctor again for some help.  😦

Are You Feeling SAD?

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Well, here we are again. It’s that time of year where the days are continually grey and there’s barely enough sunshine to make you realise it’s not night anymore.

Not that most of us see much of the sun these days. If your commute is anything like mine, then you’re probably already part way to work (if not already there) when the sun finally rises. And forget about leaving work when it’s still light out.

That’s right. It’s time for the Winter Blues, or more commonly known as SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder).

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When I was younger I thought SAD meant someone was just feeling a bit down. I was clueless and couldn’t understand why someone would feel sad in the wintertime.

But once I started to suffer from it myself, that perception changed. I would yearn for sunshine and the warmth of the sun on my skin, but couldn’t drag my ass out of my warm, comfy bed to enjoy it. I’d rather curl up on the sofa watching crap movies and eating takeaway than go out in the world and enjoy it.

Oh wait. That’s not just a winter thing. Maybe I’m just lazy. 😉

Regardless of how you deal with the bleak winter weather, anyone could suffer from SAD, even if you don’t realise you are.

So for some helpful hints on how to deal with it all, head over to Huffington Post (click HERE) to read their suggestions.

And remember – spring is only a few short months away. 😃

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Understanding Depression Better

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Living in a state of depression is never a fun or easy thing to have to deal with.  It’s something that can truly take over your life and leave you feeling like an empty husk inside.

As many who’ve visited here before know, I’ve dealt with my own bouts of depression over the years, and have wrote about it several times in the past.

Although I’m not particularly feeling depressed these days, the shadow of it enveloping me once again is always on the edge of my consciousness, and is something I battle to prevent happening on almost a daily basis.

Too many are afraid to talk about what their going through, and many others are loath to be there to listen as if it was contagious.  Talking about it more will help de-stigmatise how others perceive those with depression, and will encourage those dealing with it to be more willing to open up about it or to seek treatment.

Here are some key facts about depression (ref – World Health Organisation):

  • Depression is a common mental disorder. Globally, more than 350 million people of all ages suffer from depression.
  • Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, and is a major contributor to the global burden of disease.
  • More women are affected by depression than men.
  • At its worst, depression can lead to suicide.
  • There are effective treatments for depression.

Here are a few things to help all of us understand depression better, from the point of view of things someone with depression will understand.

‘Snap out of it!’

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This is probably the most useless and unsupportive thing you could say to someone with depression.  It’s not as if you could just wake up one morning and decide to not be depressed anymore.

Depression is not just emotional, but can also be physical, and saying something like this just shows a person’s lack of understanding of what depression actually is.

Sadness does NOT equal depression

Feeling down or sad is not the same as living in a state of depression, though some people do misconstrue one for the other.  Depression is a clinical term, and is caused by underlying illnesses and chemical abnormalities that cause a person’s mental health to deteriorate.  Depression goes beyond just being sad or upset, and we need to stop confusing the two.

understanding-depression-5Little victories are really big ones

When you’re suffering from depression, sometimes something as simple and little as getting out of bed in the morning can be a huge victory.

Most tasks and activities become an ordeal, and just getting through a few of them can make someone with depression feel like they’ve conquered something.  Like they’ve accomplished something substantial, even if it’s something more people take for granted on a daily basis.

Beyond lack of motivation

Most of us feel that 3pm slump when you need a little pick-me-up to get you through the rest of the work day.  For someone who’s depressed, it’s like that pretty much all of the time.  Depression can sometimes make you feel like your muscles doesn’t work anymore, and it’s difficult to maintain the focus we all need to get through the day.

There’s physical symptoms as well

Most people think depression as just an emotional or mental problem, but to help dispel this misconception, you also need to understand the physical symptoms.  And these physical symptoms can sometimes lead people to misunderstand what is going wrong with their body, and pre-existing issues could be made worse.  Other physical symptoms can include restlessness, indigestion, nausea, headaches, and joint and muscle fatigue to name a few.

Life just isn’t fun anymore

shutterstock_94195759Depression can make your life dramatically different, as you can lose interest in those activities you’ve always enjoyed – hanging with friends, reading your favourite book, enjoying a night out, or even romantic activities all seem less exciting.

This lack of interest can be a major red-flag when identifying the condition, and it something to look out for in yourself and others.  Be supportive and approach them with an open mind.

It’s hard to put into words

Some people think that those with depression can talk about how their feeling until the cows come home, but in reality it’s much different.  For a lot of people dealing with depression, it can be agony to describe to someone else how their feeling – especially when there’s a stigma around your illness.  When you’re looking at life through dark-coloured glasses, it can be hard to put that into words and believe that someone else can understand what you’re going through.

It’s different for everyone

There’s no ‘one-size-fits-all’ experience or approach when it comes to depression.  Everyone’s experiences and ordeals are unique to them, and there’s no one method to help fight the illness.  That’s what makes depression so difficult to deal with because everyone’s journey is different.

Understanding-Depression-666x372Everyone needs to take their own path to healing and getting past the depression in order to continue on with life.  The important thing is to make sure you’re getting the help you need if you’re depressed, and you’re being supportive of those suffering from it.

Be open.  Be understanding.  Be there for each other.

This post was inspired by ‘9 Things Only People With Depression Can Truly Understand‘ over on The Huffington Post.

Feeling the Pressure

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Ok, so I’ve only been looking for a new job for a week now, but already I’m starting to feel the pressure of it all and feeling very stressed about it all.  I know in my head that it’s probably too soon to start freaking out or whatever, but I can’t seem to stop myself.

All last week I was feeling fairly confident, energetic, and quietly optimistic about finding a new job quickly.  In fact, I had 2 calls from recruiters in the first 2 days, so this definitely gave me quite the boost going into the weekend.

But for whatever reason I woke up today feeling stressed about it all and started to worry about what’s going to happen next.  There are other worries as well surrounding this, but I’ve promised not to discuss them on here.

One part of me feels like I’ve been doing tons to try and find a new job.  I’ve signed up for multiple online agencies and registered my details on too many job sites to count, not to mention sent my cv in response to close to 20 job listings today alone.

interview-jobI’ve lost track of how many applications I’ve sent off in the past week.

But somehow I can’t shake the feeling that I’m not doing enough to get a job.  That there should be something else I should be doing to get those recruiters to call and say ‘You’re hired’.  That maybe I need to do something different in my job search.. If I only knew what it was.

For whatever reason today I’ve been feeling the pressure so much that it feels like someone is standing on my chest.  And it fucking hurts.

But I think mostly the situation has just finally sunk in.  That I’ve lost my job, and I’ve reverted back to where I was last year before I found the last job.

And yeah, I’m scared that I’ll end up going through the same year-long unemployment I went through last year.  Really scared, because I barely made it through that the first time.  I don’t think I could stand another bout of that again.  Especially don’t want to go through the depression again.

Several friends have told me to just stay strong and keep applying for jobs, and to not let myself get down about it all.  I’m trying, really really trying.. but it’s not easy to stay positive right now.

I suppose it’s to be expected to feel down about the situation, especially since I had barely allowed myself a moment to feel bad about the situation when it first happened, regardless if I hated the job..

And I can’t help thinking that possibly secretly, deep down, I wanted to get fired.  That subconsciously I thought if I was forced to look for a new job, then that might give me a kick in the ass to get moving.

stress2Well, now here I am and I’ve been given that kick in the ass.. I’m motivated to find a new job, and I’ve been looking as hard as I can, but it doesn’t alleviate that feeling of dread or the tightness in my chest.

Of course maybe I’m just having a bad day.  I’m allowed (I think) one once in awhile, right?

Brushing Myself Off

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depressed-man-mainAlthough I haven’t really been writing about it, things in my life haven’t been all that great lately.  I’ve been feeling down about several things in my life, and struggling to maintain a grip on day to day stuff.

Well, as of yesterday, the bottom just dropped out of everything – I lost my job. 😦

I’m not going to go into the intricate details of the why or how, but basically I was let go from the job I’ve had for the past year due to my poor attendance.  Over the past 9 months or so, my health hasn’t been very good, even to the point where I was signed off work at one point due to migraines and insomnia.

So, because of my absence levels, the company decided to end my employment with immediate effect.. which means I’m back to job hunting all over again.  I think part of what’s been bothering me over the past couple weeks was this impending doom regarding work, as I was pretty sure it may come to this.

Of course I was hoping against hope that maybe they’d give me one last chance, since they’ve had nothing but praise for my actual work, but alas even the best worker is screwed when it comes to something like this.

Man-holding-NEED-WORK-signI’m doing my best not to freak out about it or let it get me down too much, as I can’t afford to completely lose it right now.  Looking for work is never a fun or easy thing to have to go through, but it just means I have to get on with it.

I’m also trying my best not to beat myself up about it.  Sure, I feel absolutely stupid about the whole thing, as my attendance is something that is clearly in my control, but I’m trying to ward off the negative thoughts .. for now.

I just really hope it doesn’t last as long as my previous unemployment (a year), as I don’t think I could go through that again.  That time was one of the most depressing in my life, and I think the after affects of that time are still with me now.

I think what has helped me feel surprisingly calm about it today was hanging out with a mate last night – chilling, playing video games, eating pizza.. and allowing myself a good cry over a job I really didn’t like but needed financially.  Oh and hugs.  Those always help.

So.. fingers crossed I can find something that keeps me going asap.

Supporting Depression

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Dealing with any kind of physical or mental health issue can be difficult, exhausting and draining emotionally.  A good chunk of your time is dealing with the issue itself and you can easily lose focus on the more important things in life, be it friends, family, work, loved ones, your health, and so forth.

This is especially true when dealing with mental health issues such as depression.  The issue itself can sometimes take over your life, and if you’re not careful, you can become completely obsessed with the issue itself.  It can create an ongoing loop of negative thoughts in your head that is difficult to break or shake off.

Of course the best thing is to ensure you have a good support base around you so you have people to talk to about what you’re going through.  And it has to be the right kind of support as well..

Sometimes you just need to vent and get it off your chest, but occasionally when trying to explain how you are feeling with someone who isn’t going through it themselves, they try a bit too hard to try and knock you out of your mood.

depression1They have the best intentions of course, but occasionally it can easily turn from a friendly ear to chat to or a shoulder to cry on, to someone trying to tell you how you should live your life.  Though they are trying to be constructive and helpful, the person going through the issue can sometimes take that as a criticism of sorts even if it wasn’t meant that way.

The last thing a person going through a depressive period needs is someone trying to dictate to them how they should do things, as if they’ve never tried what they’re suggesting.  Like they’re not trying to find a solution.

Though that can be the problem with dealing with depression, you sometimes get tunnel vision when it comes to the issue itself.  As if what is happening to you at that time is the worst thing that could happen, and you can only see the negatives and worse case scenarios.

That is a difficult mindset to get out of, and if you’re not careful, it can become a never-ending downward spiral that makes it harder and harder to get out of, with or without support.

Eight Ways to Actively Fight Depression | Psychology Today

Of course finding someone who can be there for you when you’re going through such a period can be difficult at times, because some people just don’t know how to deal with someone who’s depressed.  They think the best way to help that person is to leave them alone to deal with the issue, when in fact that can cause more harm than good.  It makes the person going through the issue feel isolated, unloved, unwanted, and like they don’t matter to that person.

shutterstock_94195759That’s not a fun feeling to have when you’re already going through a bad period, as it can sometimes heighten the feelings and issues you’re going through at the time… And perhaps make you think you’re justified in the negative feelings you’re having towards yourself at the time, because that ‘friend’ can’t or won’t be there to support you.

Ultimately only you yourself can truly pull yourself out of this downward spiral, as only you can change what is happening in your life or what is affecting your feelings.  However it makes that journal to better mental health somewhat easier and more manageable when you’ve got someone at your side cheering you on and supporting you.

If you know someone who is going through a period such as this, do your best to just be there for them, support them, love them, hug them, remind them what is good about themselves or their lives.  It helps.

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Identifying Depression

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Sadly in this day and age, depression is something that still isn’t talked about enough and generally can go untreated for long periods of time.  This is mostly because of the stigma surrounding it that it makes most people feel like they’re weak or unable to cope, when in fact all they need is some help.

Portrait of Man Looking Through WindowI’ve been somewhat open about my own depression over the past year or so, and have written about it a couple times – mostly in the posts It’s Depressing To Feel Nothing and Eight Ways to Actively Fight Depression | Psychology Today.

But after recent events and viewing a video embedded into the article How Do You Know If You Have Depression? on Upworthy (video is at the bottom of the page), it got me thinking back on that period of time, as well as looking closer to my current situation.

As I’ve written recently, I’ve been going through a bad bout of insomnia lately, mostly caused by recurrent headaches that don’t seem to want to go away despite everything I’ve been doing.  I’d been feeling better over the past weekend, well enough to get out of the house, hang out with a friend on Saturday evening, and just seemingly get back to me.

But come Sunday night the throbbing in my head came back with a vengeance, and I ended up not sleeping at all that night… Meaning I was in no shape to go back to work on Monday.

All through the previous week while I was off work ‘sick’ with these issues, I hadn’t bothered to contact my doctor to seek help, as I thought I was doing everything they would have suggested.  But because I was still like this after a week, I finally broke down and called the surgery I’m registered at, and was able to book a phone consultation.

I was totally expecting the doctor that called me to suggest making an in-person appointment in order to get to the root of the problem, but instead we spoke on the phone for about 5 to 10 minutes before he said he was going to sign me off work for a week and give me a prescription to help me sleep.

frydrepressionNow I’m glad he made it fairly easy for me to get something to help me sleep, but at the same time I wonder if perhaps it was too easy.  Shouldn’t a prescription only be given out once all other non-drug avenues have been attempted?

But what surprised me is he didn’t prescribe me sleeping pills or even headache tablets – instead he prescribed me a mild anti-depressant.

That’s what got me wondering if perhaps this was just a depressive period I’m going through, and that the headaches/insomnia are the markers that should make me take notice.  It was something a mate had mentioned to me the precious week, but I hadn’t given it much thought.

I admit that things in my life aren’t where I’d like them to be, but I am trying to find a way past where I am and get somewhere better.  It won’t be easy or instantaneous, but I have to at least make the effort.

I would have thought that because I’d made a conscious effort to look for a new job and work more on my writing, that any stress or anxiety I might have been feeling about my life would become more manageable or become less of an issue.  But instead, I’m sitting at home all week trying to make myself feel ‘better’ when I should be out there living life, not locked inside my house tapping away at my laptop.

I’m not saying I feel depressed or anything, but perhaps it’s for the best that I’m on this medication at the moment as maybe it’ll help me regain my focus and move forward with what I want to do in my life.

Every case of depression is different, and it’s not always about feeling ‘sad’ or physically depressed.  It could be a feeling of emptiness, an overall anxiety about life, an ennui where you don’t want to do anything at all.  Or it could be related to low self-esteem, where you feel like you’re not competent or a worthwhile human being, or even actually liking yourself as a person.

I’m not saying everyone who feels those things are depressed, because if that was the case then pretty much every single person would be considered ‘depressed’ at some point in their life.  And some may say depression is a ‘selfish disorder’ because you’re completely focused on how bad you’re feeling or the negative thoughts you’re having.  Because you are not being there for those around you who may need you.

get over itBut apparently two thirds of those who do actually suffer from depression don’t actually seek treatment, or aren’t willing to accept that they need help.  And that isn’t good.

If you feel something is not right, then go talk to someone about it.  It doesn’t have to be a doctor or mental health professional, but at least be willing to open up to someone about what’s going on.  It can be very cathartic.

Please watch the video below, as it definitely puts a different light on depression.. or at least it did for me.