© 2008 J Picken
Our minds are delicate things. Balance and clarity are not always predominant rulers. In fact, our minds are apt at playing games, games which convince us that we are totally alone, that futility is a foregone conclusion ,that people do not care, that we are a burden. These are then compounded by the overwhelming feeling of complete helplessness and the total depletion of our indomitable fighting spirit. Yes, the mind convinces us that we should give up because no one will care nor notice if we just disappear.
The mind is so very convincing in this quest to manipulate and break our tenuous grasp on the essence that keeps us all plodding on regardless…hope.
We do not always seek help, the mind plays it’s role so very well and dissuades us from seeking assistance, in fact the mind promotes isolation because then it can then win at it’s own game.
There is no purpose for attempting to do anything, much less, activities that are enjoyable, the mind ensures we have nothing to enjoy. Bottom line is ,it really does not want anything to intrude on it’s chances of winning this game of it’s own creation…this game has a name…the name is Depression.
The World Health Organisation defines clinical depression as:
- Two weeks of an abnormal depressed mood
- loss of interest or pleasure in activities that used to be enjoyable
- Reduced energy, or feeling tired
- Loss of confidence and self-esteem
- Feeling guilty and unworthy
- Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide, or any suicidal/self-harming behaviour
- Reduced ability to think or concentrate
- Agitated or slow movements
- Disturbed sleep (not enough/too much/poor quality)
- Change in appetite (increase or decrease) with weight change
- Decreased libido
- Unexplained physical symptoms
Minor depression includes 2 of the first three
symptoms and at least 2 others.
Moderate depression includes 2 of the first three
symptoms and at least 4 others.
Severe depression includes all 3 of the first three
symptoms and at least 5 others.
Furthermore, depression exhibits the following symptoms:
- lowered mood - feeling sad or unhappy most of the day, and nearly every day.
- generalised negativity and pessimism, so that everything seems black or pointless.
- loss of interest or pleasure in your normal activities, or being unable to enjoy things as before
- tiredness, chronic fatigue (often not relieved by sleep).
- loss of interest in social contact, such as avoiding friends and phone calls.
- being less talkative than usual.
- reduced concentration, memory or ability to think clearly.
- reduced productivity or ability to cope.
- tearfulness or crying.
- impaired sleep, appetite or sex drive.
- reduced self confidence, feelings of worthlessness.
- anxiety and irritability.
- thoughts of life being pointless, especially when losing hope of recovering.
Beating the mind at it’s own game needs to become the ultimate goal. Of course, the first step is to acknowledge that the game is in progress…saying “Yes I have a problem with Depression” is difficult. The mind really does not want it’s games exposed for all the world to see.
How do we win this game? We develop better coping strategies, we learn new ways of handling things that cause us stress and worry, we recognise the signs and signals that the mind games are beginning. Most of all we need to seek help. In other words, we fortify our defences and out number the enemy in a show of force.
This is a link for those who may wish to learn
more about depression, the types of depression,
the signs and symptoms and what
can be done to keep well.
For those of us who are sufferers, I provide the following link hoping to a site which contains a free cognitive behaviour therapy program for sufferers of depression which can be completed online.