Depression can be hard to define but for most people it feels like a “low” mood that lasts for weeks or months and affects your daily life. You might feel unhappy or hopeless, have low self-esteem or find no pleasure in things you usually enjoy. Many people with depression also suffer from anxiety. Depression can be accompanied by physical symptoms - feeling tired, sleeping badly, a lack of appetite or sex drive and even random aches and pains in your body can all be considered issues arising from depression for a lot of people. Depression ranges from mild to severe. Severe depression tends to be longer term, and the feelings of hopelessness and sadness are usually more profound. A clinical depression diagnosis means that your health practitioner believes you need treatment that will usually come in the form of counseling or medication.
Many of our peer counselors have first hand experience of depression, and have learned how to overcome it through their own paths to recovery. Talking through the symptoms and causes of your depression with a trained counselor can really help you to get some perspective on your own situation, and will also help you to understand the types of tools and techniques that have worked for other people. You might want to talk to our peer counselors about how they have coped with depression, whether they found therapies like CBT or DBT useful, or whether they have had positive or negative experiences with medication that they were prescribed. Being able to share common ground and experiences with peer counselors can be incredibly helpful - it is often good just to realise that you are not alone. You will find that our peer counselors are very open and upfront about their experiences with depression - from the root causes to the symptoms and the treatment. Telling your own story can help you find ways to cope with depression - and being listened to is also a vital part of learning to live with and recover from what is an increasingly common but very debilitating condition.