Depression, unlike ordinary sadness, is something that we can’t just snap out of. It is a life-sapping condition that takes a heavy toll on our ability to live a normal life. And unfortunately it is on the rise and, at a conservative estimate, will be affecting 20,000 adults in Cornwall this year.
By and large, there are three kinds of things that lead us to depression. Firstly, big life-changing events have the power to knock us for six. For example, we can develop a disabling or life-threatening diagnosis, or we can lose someone close to us. These events hit us when we are least expecting it and the impact can send us reeling into depression. Secondly, we can experience the steady drip-drip of ordinary stress. If this pressure continues over a long period, and we don’t have the resources to cope, then we can become exhausted and demoralised. The final contributory factor can be found in the power of our thoughts. If you are a chronically ‘glass is half-empty’ kind of person, or someone who is excessively self-critical or even the kind of person whose mind runs in a steady rut of negativity, then you are also vulnerable to depression.
How do you know when you are depressed? Maybe the biggest tell-tale sign will be that you feel that everything is an effort and you have no sense of enjoyment. You lose your mojo and you feel like you are living in a grey zone. Other signs, particularly for men, may involve getting increasingly irritable. Sleep, eating and sexual interest can also suffer. You may also find it difficult to concentrate or make decisions. Plucking up the courage to ask for help is hard, but is probably the best thing that you can do.
For NHS funded therapy for stress, anxiety or depression, phone (01208) 871905 or register online [HERE].