This is the 20th in a series of blogs, using answers I provided to pass Mental Health qualifications.  This blog continues with how depression affects people and their daily lives.

The next series of blogs will be continuing on the different types of depression.

As with many mental health subjects, they can all be massive topics with reams of books written on them.  I will aim to break depression down into 4 easy to read blogs, describing possible causes, different types of depression, how depression can affect individuals and the people around them, and how they can be treated and managed.  This is the 4th.

I strongly believe there is no one-size-fits all approach to managing any kind of mental health condition. It is the main reason why I am not a massive advocate of medication.  I prefer to consider natural, healthy ways to recognise and manage any kind of mental ill health, tailoring each treatment and therapy to suit each individual. I do this from experience.  It is what helped me which is why I believe it can help others too.

How the demands of daily life affects depression:

In this series of blogs, the aims were to explore and show understanding of how depression can affect the individual, through symptoms and behaviours, the potential impact on their lives and the implications for people around them. 

I centred on the feelings someone might have when experiencing depression, both physical and psychological symptoms.   I aimed to give an insight of situations in life, where depression and the feelings that come with it will affect an individual’s ability to cope, including attention to personal care, difficulties being organised and lack of focus and concentration.

The ripple effect was further considered, including a range of feelings, leading to potential isolation and further worsening of someone’s symptoms. 

I felt it was important to highlight that family members might avoid the person with depression, because of lack of understanding, and this will impact negatively on the person’s already low self-esteem.  I aimed to highlight the potential impact on children and the role of social services, but this could be a double-edged sword, as people feel they might have their children taken away, and someone who is depressed will likely leap to the worst-case scenario and less likely to ask for help. 

Prevention of this cycle is the about raising awareness and be able to start a conversation so that everyone has access to the information they need.

How the demands of daily life affect depression:

Much of daily life is stressful but everyone has a different level of tolerance of stress. Daily life can include such things as:

– Death of loved ones

– breakup of relationships

– changes in the home environment, including happy situations like new babies or other family members and pets, or moving home

– there can be work related pressures and stresses, due to the demands of the job or deadlines that must be achieved, there could be the anxiety relating to potential job losses or workplace changes

– there can be the pressure people feel to be a good parent/good partner/good employee/good manager etc.

All this, and much more of daily life in general, can add to the mood of the person because of how they are usually feeling including of feeling inadequate and not being able to cope, exaggerating all the symptoms, causes and outcomes making the depression worse.

While I focus on the larger areas of life that can be demanding, above, research has shown that it can be the basic and, sometimes, unavoidable aspects of life that put a demand on us and contribute towards depression as well.

Remember, everyone has different levels of tolerance of stress, and this is an important aspect to remind people when they are speculating that they have had it worse or been dealt a more difficult hand in life.

How depression can be managed:

To wrap up this series of blogs on depression, I will provide some basic guidance on how depression can be managed

Resources 

GP’s, hospitals, and social services, especially if all are working together.

There may well be local support groups and charity organisations, including community groups, self-help and support groups which can be run by charities and not-for-profit organisations.

Local GPs may be able to refer people onto local authority run groups, workshops and educational and self-help and self-care education groups.

There is likely to be local therapists who can offer a variety of treatments and therapies to help the person.

Treatments 

GPs are likely to prescribe anti-depressant medication to help people although these are supposed to be considered to be short-term.

There are many therapies and treatments that are considered to be good for depression, including hypnotherapy, meditation and mindfulness, art therapy, music and drama, aromatherapy.

Psychotherapy / counselling is considered to be excellent for depression as talking about the condition and feeling of not being judged and being listened to can be a great boost to the self-esteem. This could easily be considered the starting point for treatments and counsellors can work alongside physical therapists as mentioned above as well as gentle exercise classes and potentially nutritionists to really help the person on their wellbeing journey. However, we must be mindful that having to focus on too much change, even for the better, can be overwhelming and too stressful for some.

Talking therapies such as counselling may help to cope with any previous traumatic events and triggers. This can be expanded upon with uses of CBT and EFT.

It is important that individuals look at the wide variety of treatments that are available and be involved in creating an individual care plan that meets the specific needs of that individual.

Tracey of PlumEssence Therapies and Training is a qualified stress management consultant, mental health first aider, clinical hypnotherapist and body work therapist focusing on helping reduce and alleviate concerns connected to both physical and emotional wellbeing.  Tracey is also a teacher and trainer, delivering workshops and accredited mental health courses.

Tracey is available for a no-obligation chat to see how we could work together on 01889 808388 or tracey@plumessencetherapies.co.uk

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