I worked my way through graduate school as a waiter. Before I earned a Chartership and could earn money working with clients, I worked 16 hours most days for about five years. This included taking classes, training, seeing clients, and doing research, then waiting tables nights and weekends. Sometimes I would work two 8-hour restaurant shifts, come home, fall into bed and dream about waiting tables. Only to get up and wait tables again. I was overworked and under-rested.
Of course that influenced my mood and my ability to cope with stress. When other life struggles occurred, it was much harder to pick myself up. Even when I was off work and doing something fun, I felt an undercurrent of depression just knowing I had to do it all again soon.
What’s the Difference between Feeling Depressed and Clinical Depression?
Warning Signs and Symptoms
Depressive symptoms can be diagnosed as Clinical Depression if:
Looking up information about depression online usually brings up material on capital D Depression, leaving some of us thinking that, it feels bad but it’s not as bad as all that. Plus information is often confusing. Too much of it, polar-opposite symptom variations (too little sleep, too much sleep), as well as clinical classifications that are ever-changing, make it hard to self-diagnose.
The following symptoms can occur if you have Clinical Depression or sometimes if you are just feeling depressed. Many of us experience a combination of these symptoms at some point in our lives.
If you think that you have Clinical Depression, visit your doctor. I provide treatment for Clinical Depression. FIND OUT MORE. However, a medical doctor can conduct a diagnostic evaluation (including a physical exam and lab tests) to determine whether physical conditions might be causing these symptoms.
It’s important to realise that you don’t have to have Clinical Depression to experience depression symptoms. Everyone feels low, drained or worn-out occasionally. Many of the symptoms of Major Depressive Disorder – irritability, lethargy, hopelessness, concentration difficulties – can be normal reactions to stressful life events.
Social scientist, Karla McLaren, points out that ‘Sometimes, depression is a perfectly reasonable response to trouble in your life’. However, when these feelings linger, it means that they are trying to tell you something. Whether it is telling you to slow down, get more sleep, change an unhealthy relationship or seek help, you need to listen to them.
Suppressing or ignoring these signs can make them worse.
Neuroscientist Rick Hanson explains that the brain is a learning organ. What we repeatedly think, feel, and sense slowly shapes our brains. This neuroplasticity means that prolonged and repeated mental states such as depression leave enduring imprints in the brain. These not only impact our future ability to regulate our mood, they can affect our sleep patterns, memory, hormones and our immune system. They can lead to a negative spiralling effect that becomes increasingly harder to change over time.
The good news is that our brain’s neural structure changes continuously throughout our lives. So, by focusing on redirecting our thought patterns and experiences, we can remap our neural structure in positive ways, no matter how old we are.
Find Out More: How Monkey Therapy Helps You Alleviate Depression.
How therapy works
Worksheets and useful information
Guilt and shame
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What I do differently
Your inner critic
The science behind it
Steps you can take now
More than CBT
More than IFS
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