Down or depressed?

We all feel low but sometimes a bad day turns into a bad week then a bad month and nothing seems to help. Everything seems to be so much more effort and it can be exhausting just getting through the day.

Feeling down or depressed?

We all feel low but sometimes a bad day turns into a bad week then a bad month and nothing seems to help. Everything seems to be so much more effort and it can be exhausting just getting through the day.

After a while you may notice changes in your sleep, your appetite and concentration. You don’t get much enjoyment out of anything anymore.

There are also important changes in the things that you do. Lots of people find that as their mood gets worse they get tired more easily and stop doing things they used to enjoy. Once they have cut out lots of those enjoyable activities their mood can get even worse. This becomes a vicious cycle. One of the first steps to improving mood is to break this cycle of reduced activities.

Another thing that often changes is your thinking. We know that as people sink into feeling low and depressed their thinking gets more and more negative.  A lot of people find that negative thoughts go round and round and they can’t shake them off. It’s common to start thinking the worst and to start becoming very self-critical. The second step to improving mood is to start changing this negative pattern of thinking.

What can I do to lift my mood?

Start today by figuring out what activities you have stopped and make a plan to gradually start doing some of these things again. To find out how to do this and break the vicious cycle of reduced activity follow this link How to get active again

Challenge your negative thinking

Next, try and take a long, hard look at your thinking patterns. For tools to help challenge negative thinking follow this link Challenge your negative thinking

Books on Depression

If you would like to find out more we recommend reading these books, which are available for free in Hammersmith & Fulham libraries:

Manage your mood: how to use behavioural activation techniques to overcome depression by David Veale and Rob Wilson

Overcoming Depression: a self-help guide using cognitive-behavioural techniques by Paul Gilbert

To find out more about your local libraries search here

Links

If you would like to find out about other people who may be feeling the same way, you can contact this organisation:

www.depressionalliance.org

Postnatal Depression

If your low mood or depression occurred after you gave birth, you may be interested in this support organisation

Association for Postnatal Depression

Helpline: 020 7386 0868 (10am- 2pm Mon, Weds and Fri and 10am- 5pm, Tues and Thurs).

www.apni.org

Provides support to mothers suffering from post-natal depression.

What about medication?

If depression continues and starts to interfere with your everyday life it is recommended that you consider taking medication to treat the symptoms of depression. Many people with more severe depression find that a combination of both medication and new coping strategies helps them the most.

Back on Track does not prescribe medication. If you are thinking about starting to take anti-depressants or changing your medication you should always discuss this first with your GP or doctor who prescribes for you.

For details of all the recommended treatments for depression from the National Institute of Clinical Excellence please click here