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All of us can feel down or sad at times in our lives. It can be a natural response to something that happens to us, like the loss of a loved one or some other negative life event that can weigh heavy on our ability to cope. These events can leave us with feelings that we don’t recognise as our true selves, such as heightened emotions, sadness, tearfulness and apathy. For the most part, these feelings pass.

If you feel stuck however, counselling can help.

In some instances, these feelings can get worse over time and can lead to feelings of dread, a lack of concentration, poor sleep patterns, thoughts of hopelessness and regret for the past. We can become irritable, socially isolated and lose interest in the simplest of things, like self care or watching favourite TV programmes. Hobbies and interests generally take a back seat as the ‘black dog’ of depression takes over. It is clear that sadness, though clearly part of depression, is not depression. Depression can be thought of as sadness or low mood that extends and worsens over a period of time.

Because depression can become a chronic condition, it can have an adverse effect, directly and indirectly on our physical health. When we are depressed we tend to neglect ourselves, often drink more alcohol or take other substances to try to feel ‘normal’ again. Once again, talking therapy can help.

In some cases, depression can lead us to feel so bad about ourselves and our lives that we feel that the only way out is through self -harm or suicide.

There is of course a very big difference between wanting the depression to end, and planning to end our life. If this is something that is happening to you or someone you know, it is important that you take action. Contact your GP, therapist or perhaps The Samaritans.

Talking helps.

The Samaritans. Call 116 123 from any phone

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