When You Are Depressed

When you are depressed it can feel like being trapped inside a black hole, with no escape and no end in sight. A sense of hopelessness is very common among individuals who feel depressed and it can make it difficult for those same people to seek the support they need.

When you feel particularly down you may notice that your mind bullies you with all kinds of unhelpful thoughts. You may start to avoid doing the things you used to enjoy. You may feel lethargic and unmotivated. Of course, then you may start to have feelings of guilt or embarrassment about ignoring your friend’s calls or not being able to complete basic household chores. It may be hard for you to open up and let others know that you need help.

In addition, to what has been outlined above you may also be experiencing:

  • Difficulty sleeping or sleeping excessively
  • Thoughts of death or suicide
  • Eating more or eating less
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Feelings of worthlessness

Individuals with depression often just want “it to stop” so that they can get on with their life and just feel “normal”. This is understandable as the experience feels so unpleasant. Unfortunately, when you feel this miserable often the more you fight – the further you slide down the black hole.

So what is the solution?

The fact is – depression is a normal human instinct and many of us experience times of deep despair at some point during our lives. The ability to fall into paralysing moments of despair has been one of the keys to our survival. If you think about it – how else would we have been able to spend time holed up in a cave waiting for the blizzard to pass outside?

What this means is that it is important to be gentle with yourself when you feel low. It is possible to learn some new skills to help “take the edge off” the pain and allow you to crawl out of the black hole. Pain relief is a large part of what a psychologist can assist with; however, it is not the end goal. The end goal is to assist you to live in accordance with what YOU decide is important to you. 

Support is available.

It can be good to talk and to learn some new skills in a safe and supportive environment. Depression is generally diagnosed when your life is impacted in some functional way, such as difficulty coping at work, relationship difficulties, or a decreasing inclination to care for yourself (showering, eating, and so on). However, it can be particularly useful to talk to a professional when you are simply “going through a rough patch”, to obtain strategies to build your resilience and your ability to self-support.

If you find yourself having thoughts of death or dying contact your health professional. You can visit the emergency department of your closest hospital, attend with your General Practitioner or with a counsellor or psychologist.

Contact LifeLine on 13 11 14 to talk to someone immediately if you have any intention of harming yourself. LifeLine can provide a safe place for you to talk over the phone.

You can also go to your nearest emergency hospital at any time or call 000 for an ambulance.