I am not feeling depressed….am I?
Many years ago, I was having a real tough time with work and home.
I saw a doctor as I felt exhausted all the time. As I was explaining what was going on – he mentioned the word with depression. I was shocked! In fact, I was so stunned and upset I left without being prescribed anything saying ‘I’m not depressed’.
But people who are depressed are usually the last ones to recognise it.
Those people close to and even around the depressed person will be the first to notice a change but generally, when they ask after them, they say ‘I’m fine’, I’m ok’ etc. they are in denial
Why do People With Depression Not Realise it?
The reasons for denial can be manifold
- Shame at admitting they are feeling depressed
- Believe they can deal with it themselves
- Do not like talking about it, believing it doesn’t resolve the ‘thing’ they are depressed about
- Been to get help and it did not work
- So inwardly focussed, they have lost sight of the good things
- There is still a stigma about suffering depression being a weakness – particularly in men
And I get it!
Only when I realised I was not getting any better, 6 months later, did I finally succumb (and it really felt like that –giving in) did I go back to the doctors to go on anti-depressants. But I was determined not to be on them for a long time.
I knew it was down to me, to sort myself out.
I started on a 20 year journey that has brought me to where I am today – helping others who are feeling depressed, despondent, helpless and hopeless and helping them learn that this (for the most part) a learnt behaviour. And what can be learnt, can be unlearnt.
Whilst it was a long journey for me, it has been powerful. It has enabled me to understand how I can truly help others faster.
Because therapies have come a long way in the past 20 years – neuroscience, positive psychology and numerous other studies are helping us to understand more about how the mind works and how it interacts with the body.
What can I do about it?
I may not have the right answers for you now per se, as everyone’s journey is unique to them, and I do not advocate a one size fits all approach. However, here are some things you can do right now to help yourself:-
1 – Look at your sleep patterns – understand what your bedtime routine is, and what you do during the day that can impact your sleep ie caffeine, alcohol, eating late, electrical equipment in the room etc. There is plenty of advice out on the web, but it is about getting a good nights sleep. If overthinking, worrying, or stress is your thing – then check this exercise out to help you work through stuff
2 – Get to see doctors to make sure that it is not something else going on. Crazy as it may seem some of the signs of depression could have an underlying condition that needs to be addressed.
3 – Write down your daily routine, from the moment you get up in the morning to the moment you go to bed. What habits do you have? Are they supporting you? Or are they adding to the problem? You know the ones I mean – over indulging, giving your time away to others, having to pretend to be something you are not. Once you have identified them, what one small thing could you do differently? Check out this post for being able to say no confidently and claw back some time!
4 – Identify what help you need and find the right person. There seems to be as many therapists as there are solutions. This is the time where trusting who you are drawn to and setting up an initial (generally) free session – what do you need to know about them, that would help you feel safe with them.
5 – Perhaps like me, you want to work on it yourself. And this is fine, just know it can take longer to address this way, AND you may not get to the root cause of what is going on. But this can be a valuable way to start off. I would recommend Brad Yates on You tube – he has a whole selection of videos dealing with different problems using EFT (Emotional Freedom technique) and this can be quite powerful. Although do not assume it is a one-time fixes all approach!
In my view depression is a state that people get into through learning somewhere that who they are is not good enough. As children how many of us were told to ‘sit down and be quiet’. A well intentioned phrase, but sends a message to the child that they cannot be who they are.
I also believe that even the word depression is actually better described as Su-pression – why? Because there are generally a wealth of emotions that have been stored and not aired because people around us couldn’t cope with either exuberance, or sadness.
This state is also so very tiring, it is no wonder people sleep so much. Unable to focus on anything, as the emotions are overwhelming the body – and we cannot be cognitive and emotional at the same time. Emotions will always trump the cognitive mind.
I also think that because depression creeps up on someone, insidiously wrapping itself around the person from the inside out, it is not surprising to me that someone does not realise how bad things have got! They are just dragging their weary self through each day and ‘performing’.
Perhaps you can feel this? Recognise this? Or maybe this resonates with you?
You are not alone.
Please reach out to me for a no-obligation 30-minute chat to see whether I am the right person for you. Let your suppressed self have a voice and air what it really wants to air to feel better.