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down in the dumps or depressed1

down in the dumps or depressed2

down in the dumps or depressed3

Sooner or later, everyon c _ Feeling sadness, loneline ,,"i, go through Ct) 't'llrjlllm life Ct', 'sf'))) 'll part of being human - l 76 SEP/OCT 2015 ISSUE 35 By Janine Shamos We all have days when we want to hide under the covers and wish the world would leave us alone. But when a bad day turns into a bad month, it's time to take a closer look at your mood By Janine Shamos epression across the world. About 's a common problem for people one in i0 South Africans suffers from depression - althocga only about a quarter ever seek or receive treatment. Sooner or later, everyone gets the blues. Feeling sadness, oneliness or grief when you go e through a difhcult life exp Most of the time, you ience is part ofbeing human. can function normally and you feel that you will get through it. But if feelings of sadness, hopelessness and isolation oersist or ifthey start to interfere with your sleep, relations be something more than fatigue or worthlessness, along with your sadness h'ps, work and recreation, it may tsta down day. Teeling constant or experiencing weight changes can be signs of depression," says psychologist Dr Colinda Lnde. There are some things to be aware of when you are feeling blue - warning s'gns that this may be more than feeling down for a day or two. Depression checklist Your thinking patterns lf you are thinking more negatively than usual, you may just be having a rough day. But also take a look at how your thoughts are affecting your decisions and your view of the world and the people in your life beyond that day. Negative thoughts can lead to trouble-making decisions, confusion or forgetfulness. lust a day or two ofthis doesn't mean that you have depression. But if these patterns continue or if your thoughts turn suicidal, seek help right away. Your feelings You can feel sad or negative without having depression. Be honest with yourself. "Are you feeling mildly sad or let down, or are you feeling hopeless and helpless? lf you are feeling overwhelmed with emotion and have a negative or sad mood that others can sense, it's time to seek help," says Dr Linde. lfsomeone notices that you are down, that doesn't automatically mean you have depression. But someone seeing emotional fluctuations and behaviour changes for several weeks may indicate depression. Your behaviour Sleep disturbances and appetite changes are hallmarks of depression. A night or two ofdisrupted sleep or eating isn't necessarily a big deal. But if this continues and makes life even more difhcult than it already is, you may need to talk to someone about what's going on. lf you're not sure whether there is a problem or not, try doing something that will change your mood, like going for a walk or talking to a friend. "Do something that you think will likely help you break your negative mood and thinking patterns. Sometimes,just getting distracted and out ofyour own head can change the course of your day," says Cassey Chambers from the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG). Chances are that you have probably done these things at one time or another. lf it works, you're probablyjust having a rough day (or week) but you'll bounce back and be your usual self. lf, however, you find that these things don't work and you continue to feel these symptoms for two weeks or longer, you may be heading into a depressive episode. Still not sure? lt may not always be easy to tell the difference between a run-of-the-mill bad mood and depression. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, people who are depressed have symptoms that interfere with their work, daily activities or social life. lf you have five or more of the following symptoms for most of the day, nearly every day, for at least two weeks, PSYCHOLOGY and the symptoms are severe enougr to interfere with your JO Ways to turn arounda bad day daily activities, you may have depress/on: . Listen to ajiwourite song and . Depressed mood, sadness or ar' "empty" feeling, or sing along. appearing sad ortearful to others. . Watch afunny YouTube video. . Loss ofinterest or pleasure in activi ies you once enjoyed. . Phone a closefriend. weigrt gain (for example, more twan 5% of your body . (lf/ an animal. weigrt in a month). . Give andget a hug. . Inabil'ty to sleep or excessive sleeping. . Pructise deep breathing. . Restlessness or irritation (irritabe mood may be a o Write about whut's botheringyou symp om in children or adolescents too), or feelings and then write somethingyou are rr / of flragglng‘ grateful for. , l . Fatigue or loss ofenergy. . . ' C . Do some exercise -jusit get up I . Difhculty thinking orconcentrating,orindecisiveness. and move. . Recurent thoughts of death or suicide without a .Sign out ofFucebook. specirc plan, or a suicide attempt or specific plan for . Walk barefoot on the grass. committing suicide. . Signifcant weight loss when not dieting, or significant . Feelirg worthless, or excessively or inappropriately guilty. Don't let your negative thoughts and feelings consume l a iv-janineShamosisaseniorcounsellorand educator you - talk about how you're feeling, and if life has got you at The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG). down or overwhelmed, know that there's help. SADAG runs For more information on how to deal with depression, anxiety a telephonic counselling centre (open seven and trauma, call SADAG on 0800212223 orvisitSadag.org + ' days a week from 8am to 8pm) for anyone needing advice or a referral to a mental health expert or support group. If, at any point, you have thoughts or feelings that truly disturb you oryou feel out ofcontrol, don't wait. Call your doctor or SADAG immediately." 78 SEP/OCT 2015 ISSUE 35