How Do I Know If I Have Depression?

Dark Clouds - Depression - Sandra Harewood Counselling

 

The soul presents itself in a variety of colours, including all shades of grey, blue and black.  To care for the soul, we must observe the full range of colourings and resist the temptation to approve only …the brilliant colours.  Thomas Moore

Whether you call it The Dark Night of the Soul, The Wild Moods or The Black Dog, depression is something that casts a dark shadow over life.

A shadow that maddeningly conceals a vibrancy and aliveness that now alludes you.  There’s a sense that you’re a shadow of your former self; the good times have all past, there’s nothing left for the present and you can’t envision a future.

Perhaps you see the outer world in its Shadow form something to guard against and avoid.  You see others partaking but right now you can’t.  But in your inner world, you feel lonely, isolated and scared.

And you’re not alone.  In 2013 in the UK there was evidence of anxiety or depression in 19% of people aged 16 or over, with 21% of women reporting the symptoms and 15% of men.

So many people are now courageously telling their stories.  Now might not be the right time to tell yours.  You are no less courageous.

How Do I Know If I Have Depression?

But if you’re wondering whether you have depression here are some typical ways that our bodies let us know.

  1. A persistent and underlying range of feelings including numbness, emptiness, hopelessness or despair.
  2. Something feels heavy; like a weight, you’re constantly having to carry around with you whilst trying to keep calm and carry on. It feels like you’re walking through treacle or mud. The depression literally feels as it’s holding you down and getting in your way.  You might feel that you have been robbed of the energy to engage with it.
  3. Your sleep pattern changes. You might be sleeping a lot or finding it difficult to sleep at all.
  4. You feel a dis-ease or discomfort in your body. Something doesn’t feel quite right but you can’t pin it down. It’s not uncommon to experience physical symptoms with no obvious physical cause.
  5. You might experience panic attacks, where you feel a sense of imminent catastrophe a pounding heart, a sense of being trapped, and a deep desire to escape.
  6. A feeling of disconnection from those around you. The more you find yourself withdrawing, the more isolated and alone you feel.
  7. Difficulty in experiencing the joy in your life. Noticing feeling negative, without a sense of motivation or excitement.  Life is bland without and vibrancy or colour.  You may have lost interest in sex.
  8. You might find yourself spontaneously crying or feeling that you could cry at any moment. Or perhaps experiencing moments of anger and irritability which seem to come out of the blue and then escalate quickly.
  9. You might notice yourself eating or drinking more alcohol to self-medicate the emotional pain.
  10. You may have suicidal thoughts.

A Different Relationship With Depression.

Seeking help for your depression when you’re in the depths of the shadow can be challenging.  You don’t have to be alone.  There are things you can you do to alleviate your symptoms.  CBT, mindfulness and counselling can all help.

Thomas Moore says:

Melancholy gives the soul an opportunity to express a side of its nature that is as valid as any other, but is hidden out of distance for its darkness and bitterness.

Your feelings right now are valid.  Your darkness as well as your brilliance.

Over to You.

How does depression show up in your life? Do you notice something in yourself, a partner or a friend that feels much more than a low, sad mood?

What might your soul be expressing through your depression?

If you want to talk to and someone to listen get in touch and book your first counselling appointment.

Or call me today on 07535 864836.

Leave a comment below; I’d love to hear from you.

P.S. PASS IT ON

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© Sandra Harewood

 About Sandra

Soul Centred couples counsellor Sandra Harewood specialises in working with couples and single women with childhood wounding that impacts their adult relationships. Sandra provides a soulful space for her clients to explore and discover creative solutions to their difficulties and create great relationships.

Photo credit: quinn.anya via Foter.com / CC BY-SA