Depression really sucks but there are effective treatments


depression

Depression sucks badly as it takes away so much, including an interest in the things sufferers love doing, motivation, energy and connection with others.

Unfortunately, other people can see the depressed as lazy without understanding the impact of the condition. Levels of depression range from feeling flat to an inability to function. If nothing is done, depression can worsen and become much harder to recover from.

Paul Martin is the Senior Psychologist at the Centre for Human Potential.

Many people who suffer depression are aware that doing certain things will make them feel better. You know — eat healthily and move your body. Perhaps enjoy a quality conversation with Aunty Caboolture over Fruity Lexia under the Hills Hoist. But instead, you stay stuck on the sofa watching hours of RuPaul and eating reheated Aussie pizza. (With too much pineapple!)

Knowing and doing are different animals.

Effective treatments

We are however lucky today as there are effective treatments that can help.

People can often suffer depression without being aware of it. They may feel like they have a low or flat mood most of the time. But after feeling that way for a while, they adapt to it.

Some mask depression by drinking heavily or using drugs. While these things might feel great at the time, they often worsen the depression. And, as tolerance to the substances increases, more is needed. That can also have negative consequences.

If you have a family history of depression, you might be more likely to develop this under certain conditions. Also, if like so many of us you had a childhood filled with negative messages about who you are, you might unknowingly develop a deep belief in your own supposedly inherent worthlessness. If depression was a cake, the main ingredients would be worthlessness and hopelessness. If you have a core belief that you are defective, it can lead to self-downing thinking patterns. Investing in those thoughts will make the future seem hopeless leading to ‘what’s the point’ type feelings.

You can alleviate depression.

Once a day, do something positive — even if it is the last thing in the world you want to do.

It could be picking up the clothes from the floor and hand washing your glow in the dark butt plug.

Be aware of your negative thoughts — write them down and challenge them.

It works.

Move your body — take a fast walk. It’s a great natural anti-depressant.

If you’re very depressed or have been depressed for a long time, anti-depressant medication can also help a lot.

Medication is not a crutch or a sign of weakness. It just ensures your brain is working normally.

If depression is impacting on important areas of your life such as work and relationships, you can ask your doctor for a Mental Health Care Plan to access a subsidy from Medicare for counselling sessions with a psychologist. Seeing a psychologist with specific LGBTI!+ experience can be very helpful such as Centre for Human Potential.

Read also: Sadness

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