Normal Moods

Good or bad, our moods are the quality of our feelings at any particular time. They are an important part of our everyday experiences and add richness to the quality of life. From time to time everyone feels 'down' or 'fed up' or 'out of sorts'. Feeling sadness, concern, disappointment and annoyance are normal emotional responses to situations that did not turn out the way you would have liked them to. These feelings are often a useful message that some effort is required to readjust how you're thinking, or that something constructive must be done to deal with your feelings or to change the situation. Negative feelings might also be a reminder to accept the discrepancy between what we think should be happening and the reality of what is.


Depression

Many people will experience more intense distressing feelings than normal at some time during their life. Depression lasts longer than sadness and the blues, and the accompanying feelings of helplessness, hopelessness and indecisiveness often seem overwhelming.

Recognising the Symptoms of Depression

Feeling depressed involves a wide range of symptoms which are different for each individual both in nature and severity. Noticeable changes in some of the following areas may indicate the presence of a depression:

Mood

Thinking

Behaviour

Physical Health



People experience depression in different ways.

"When I'm feeling depressed I can't be bothered doing anything. I just want to stay in bed and avoid everyone and everything."

Michelle

"For me it is like having a great weight on my shoulders. It is as if I am fighting my way through a thick blinding mist and have become lost. Sometimes I don't feel that I'm able to keep fighting."

David

"When I'm depressed, I feel that I am no one anymore. My inside is like an empty pit. All I want to do is to curl up and disappear. I can't face anyone - I don't want them to see me crying like this. I feel so frightened. If only I had measles or a broken leg - I could accept that more."

Katherine

"I get so lonely sometimes. I hear the clock tick and listen to the time pass so slowly and just wish that the day would hurry up and finish."

Ruth

Understanding Depression

"I've created a personal strategy that uses my tendency to depression to improve rather than detract from my quality of life. I use my low moods to teach me how to take better care of myself or to alert me to things I need to handle differently or change."

Nancy Miller, depression sufferer

"Many of us spend our whole lives running from feeling with the mistaken belief that you cannot bear the pain. But you have already borne the pain. What you have not done is feel all you are beyond that pain."

Kahlil Gibran


Depressed cartoon