What is depression?

Depression is feeling low in mood in a persistent or sustained way for a length of time. Feeling depressed can be debilitating, extracting any sense of excitement or joy from our lives. There can be many reasons for depression. It is often a natural response to stress or anxiety, or historically relating to our needs not being met long ago.

Depression can be easily judged by ourselves and others. We might tell ourselves to ‘snap out of it’ or ‘pull ourselves together’. The truth is that depression is real can be the cause of deep suffering and unhappiness. We might lose interest in things we used to enjoy and feel frequently hopeless and tearful.

Feeling pointless and lacking in motivation can be part of the feeling of depression. We may feel cut off from or unworthy of care and attention. There can be physical symptoms too: depression can significantly affect our appetite and sleeping and overall well-being.

How I can help

Working with depression is not a quick fix. It can take time to understand ourselves and our painful feelings gently and with compassion. Underneath the blanket of our depression may be some memories or experiences that we may need to pay attention to and try to make sense of and understand.

This is not always easy – it takes courage. Through such a process we may learn, in time, to offer ourselves tender care when the going gets tough. This learning can heal wounds and help grow seeds of hope inside.