WHEN YOU'RE FEELING BLUE
As Peggy heard the alarm clock go off, she thought to herself, "I can't do this again today, I just can't face going to classes, trying to talk w/ people and pretend to be happy." She hit the snooze button and laid in bed for another nine minutes before that IRRITATING buzz went off again. This time she shut the alarm off altogether, thinking to herself, "It will be okay to skip my morning class again, but I have to get up for my afternoon one." Gosh, what was wrong with her? She hadn't gone to classes for almost 2 weeks now. All she seemed to do these days was sleep and watch TV. She couldn't even get motivated to go to her dance class anymore... something she usually loved to do.
Peggy finally got herself out of bed for her afternoon class. She thought about eating something, but couldn't find the energy to make it. So, she threw on some sweats and went to class. Her friend Bob came up to her to say "hi." Usually Peggy liked talking with Bob, but recently he just irritated her. Everybody had been irritating her lately. She just had no energy to go out with friends anymore. "What is wrong with me? Why am I so lazy? I usually love going to movies, out to eat with friends, but lately...." All these thoughts made her feel so bad that she began crying and had to leave class.
Does reading this just seem like torture?....This is what depression is like, it can be painful. We hear a lot about depression on tv, in movies, on the radio, but rarely do we know what it truly means. And if we haven't experienced it before, it can be frustrating to watch. We wonder, "Why can't they just snap out of it?". This is often what people say to you if you're depressed. You might even become upset with yourself, like Peggy did: "Why am I so lazy?". That sort of thinking just makes the depression worse. It's not your fault, but there are things you can do to combat depression. You don't have to live with it!
Symptoms of clinical depression include:
Persistent, sad, anxious or "empty" mood;
Feelings of hopelessness, pessimism, guilt, helplessness and worthlessness;
Loss of interest or pleasure in usual activities ranging from schoolwork to sex;
Sleeping too much or too little;
Changes in appetite;
Decreased energy, fatigue and feeling "slowed down";
Thoughts of death or suicide; suicide attempts;
Increased restlessness and irritability;
Difficulty concentrating, remembering or making decisions;
Physical symptoms that don't respond to medical treatment such as: headaches, digestive disorders and chronic pain.
Things you can do to prevent/cope with depression:
Cut back on alcohol (it is a depressant).
Be kind to yourself and forgive yourself.
Don't isolate yourself....reach out to family and friends for support.
Schedule fun activities.
**Depression has both a biological & psychological component. This means that if you have a family history of depression, you may be more prone to getting it. It can be caused by many things including a reaction to medication, loss of a relationship, substance abuse, increased stress.
***If you think you're depressed or just need some extra support, don't be afraid to ask for help. Come to Psychological Counseling Services for an evaluation, therapy, or medication.
For more information go to the following web sites:
Come to PCS to talk with someone, or email us for additional information.