Depression is quite common and affects about 10% of the general population at any one time. Studies have shown that about 4% of children aged 5-16 in the UK and one in five older people are affected by depression. Although men experience depression as well as women, mistakenly viewing this as a weakness, they often find this more difficult to talk about and so delay seeking help thus exacerbating the problem.
There’s no one cause of depression. Some people are more prone than others because of experiences or family background. Although everyone has low moods from time to time if you are experiencing at least five of the following symptoms on a regular basis you could be depressed.
- Lacking self-confidence and self-esteem
- Waking up early, having difficulty sleeping, or sleeping more
- Feeling tired and lacking energy; doing less and less
- Smoking, drinking or taking drugs more than usual
- Not eating properly and losing or putting on weight
- Difficulty remembering things
- Physical aches and pains with no physical cause
- Feeling low-spirited and helpless
- Feeling numb, empty and despairing
- Being unusually irritable or impatient
- Loss of pleasure in previously enjoyable experiences
- Sexual difficulties
- Finding it hard to concentrate or make decisions
- Feelings of self blame and guilt
- Preoccupation with with negative thoughts
- Distancing yourself from others
- Experiencing a sense of unreality
- Self-harming and/or thinking about suicide.
Many people with depression benefit by making lifestyle changes such as getting more exercise, cutting down on alcohol and eating more healthily.
Although if depressed you may lack motivation to seek help speaking to a psychotherapist may help you to identify the causes of depression and improve the way that you feel.
Reiki can help with depression by encouraging a deep sense of relaxation and wellbeing.
*You should always consult a medical professional if you feel that you may be depressed.