Monday, 25 May 2015

Mental Health Monday #7 | Depression

What Is Depression?
Depression is the most common mental health disorder in Britain, according to research. It can be an incredibly debilitating and draining condition which can have physical and emotional effects on a person's life. It can effect someone in many ways, but it typically interferes with a person's ability to complete daily tasks, find interest in things and even to function properly. I don't feel that enough people understand about depression and that is one of the reasons why I am doing this post today.
What Are The Symptoms?
Feeling of helplessness and hopelessness. You have a bleak, uninterested outlook on life. You may feel as if things will never get better and there truly is no light at the end of the tunnel, or anyway to help you situation.
Loss of interest in daily activities. You feel no interest towards any activities e.g. hobbies, relationships, work, friendships or anything else. You feel little to no joy or pleasure anymore.
Appetite or weight changes. You may find yourself eating a lot more, or a lot less than what your regular amount is.
Sleep changes. You may either be experiencing insomnia (inability to fall asleep properly, or stay asleep for a long amount of time) or you could be oversleeping, which is also called hypersomnia.
Anger or irritability. You may feel increasingly agitated, restless or even violent. Your temper may be short and you may feel as if everyone and everything is annoying you, no matter what the issue.
Loss of energy. You may be feeling tired, sluggish and physically drained. Your whole body may feel heavy and you may find it hard to even complete small, simple tasks.
Self-loathing.  You may feel as if you aren't good enough or that nobody likes you or cares about you. You harshly criticise yourself far too often.
Reckless behaviour. You may begin self-harming, turning to alcohol, drugs, careless driving or engaging in activities that may harm your body.
Concentration issues. You may have problems focusing, making decisions or even remembering things.
Unexplained aches and pains. You may have random headaches, back pain, aching muscles or stomach pains.
The Stigma Around Depression
Mental health problems are extremely common, but 9 out of 10 people that experience them have said that they experience stigma and discrimination from others. This stigma and discrimination can be very hard to deal with as it can result in loss of friendships, relationships, social isolation, exclusion from activities, difficulty in getting and maintaining a job, not finding any help and therefore resulting in a slower recovery. Equally, stigma can cause people to shy away and bottle up their problems in fear of being judged or laughed at, so they won't be able to receive the support they need. This is why we need to join together and help end all discrimination and stigma so this illness is not such a taboo and then sufferers will be able to get the help that they deserve to be able to recover.
How To Help End Stigma - Time To Change Campaign
The aim of the Time To Change campaign is to encourage all of us to open up and discuss our mental health, which will hopefully mean that we can start conversations with those who may need guidance. You could take part by raising awareness and talking to those around you about mental health issues. You could share a blog story to raise awareness, sign up to receive Time To Change emails and you could even add your name to their pledge wall, just like I did, joining hundreds of thousands of people to encourage others to open up and discuss the taboo subject which is mental health issues.
The Road To Depression Recovery
Ask for help and support. Even if the thought of tackling your depression may seem very overwhelming at first, don't panic. Just because you are currently feeling this way, it doesn't mean you are weak, or pathetic or anything else! These emotions are completely normal due to your illness and that is not within your control, so don't think that there is no way out of this tunnel. You should try starting with baby steps and ask for help. Find someone who seems like a good listener and discuss your feelings and your emotions with them. Don't be afraid. Its better to be out in the open rather than bottled up where it will only cause you more pain instead of making anything better. Having a strong support system will help to encourage and fuel your recovery process. Reach out to others, even if it may feel like you're a burden to them or as if you are not important. Please just try it. Most people will be delighted that you have chosen to open up to them; they'll be flattered that you would actually consider opening up about something that is so personal to you. Let your loved ones know what you are going through and then they will be able to support you and find you proper help. Although it's really important to have support of other people, you have to try to not rely on others too much as if they did stop becoming so involved one day, then you would be lost, so you do need to rely on yourself and build a positive relationship with yourself too, just to avoid further upset.  
Make healthy lifestyle changes. Try to make positive, supportive relationships with those around you. Get regular exercise and plenty of sleep each night. Eat healthily as this will help to boost your mood. Learn how to manage your stress and practise relaxation techniques. Challenge your negative thought patterns and change those negative ones into positive ones as often as you possibly can. Keep yourself busy with other things and try to distract your mind. Treat yourself to something nice once in a while such as a pamper night, shopping, get your nails done, go out for a meal etc.
Build emotional skills. Many people struggle to balance their emotions and learn how to manage stress. Building emotional skills can help you to bounce back from any trauma that you have experienced, causing you to feel these negative emotions. Learn how to recognise and express your inner feelings.
Seek professional help. If support from your loved ones, healthy lifestyle changes and building emotional skills still isn't enough when tackling your mental health, then please seek help from a professional mental health expert. There are many treatments for depression, including therapy, medication, and alternative treatments. Learning about your options will help you to decide what is best for you and your situation.


24-hour helpline: 08457 90 90 90
Freepost RSRB-KKBY-CYJK, Chris
PO Box 90 90
If you are unsure on how to bring up the topic, you can just sit one of your loved ones down and either give them a letter explaining your thoughts and what you are going through or if you have a comfortable, open relationship with your parents or someone close to you, then you can just bring it up into conversation and arrange on getting a doctors appointment or facing the next step together. Once you have got that first step out of the way of accepting and admitting your illness, then you will be able to take the next steps towards recovery and finding a happier you. Remember that you are never alone and there is always going to be support available. I will always be here for any of you that have mental health issues, or any other concerns or questions in general. I promise you.
Ways To Contact Me
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If you need to contact me, just go for it. I promise I won't judge anyone, no matter what you tell/ask me and I will do my very best to help, whilst remaining strictly confidential. I love you all so much.


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