When all the colour and hope goes out of life, its hard to believe that things can change.

Do you feel some of these?

  • Life has no meaning or purpose
  • You can’t sleep or you sleep too much
  • You mood seems impossible to lift
  • You just don’t want to get out of bed
  • You can’t concentrate
  • You find that previously easy tasks are now difficult
  • You feel hopeless and helpless
  • The idea of doing something is impossible
  • You can’t control your negative thoughts, no matter how much you try
  • You have lost your appetite or you can’t stop eating
  • You’ve lost the ability to take pleasure in anything, even the things you used to love
  • You are much more irritable, short-tempered, or aggressive than usual
  • You’re consuming more alcohol than normal or engaging in other reckless behaviour
  • Your tolerance level is low and your temper is short
  • You have thoughts that life is not worth living (seek help immediately if this is the case)

Depression is the natural response when life goes badly. If you lose your job, your owe money or someone close to you dies or goes away, its fine to feel depressed.  It happens to everyone from time to time, and who would feel on top of the world when things like that happen?  But if the feelings last more than a few weeks, or you are completely incapacitated by them, then its best to seek professional help.

Talking to a trained professional can help immediately, and if it takes a little longer, it is possible to gradually improve over a few weeks.  It may be that its necessary to make a few lifestyle changes, especially if the depression has led to isolation.

A psychotherapist or counsellor can also help to build some more resilient survival skills, and, best of all, to see things in perspective.  We cannot change the past but we can change the way we view it so that it appears less of a catastrophe.

The Black Dog of Depression can appear slowly and end up dominating and crippling. Life doesn’t have to be like this.