Thursday, 24 June 2010

What is depression?

If you have ever lost somebody close to you be it person or animal, and been left feeling deeply empty and lost, and that life is pointless or too painful to continue with . . . that is depression. In the case of a loss that grief is a natural process and must be worked through in it’s own time. You will always feel it to some extent afterwards, I remember fondly all the cats I have lived with, but gradually you return and continue with life.

But in some people those feelings of hopelessness arise with no apparent cause. Why? I have no idea it could be genetics, it could be upbringing, I think it is probably a combination of lots of factors with chronic stress in there as well. We are all different physically and mentally and whereas some people may thrive under certain conditions others will not. Under stress some people will fly others will get stomach ulcers and a depressive person will descend into blackness. The limbic system of their brain which deals with emotional response becomes damaged leading to a drop in serotonin levels that causes alertness to reduce. Hence mood turns to hopelessness and you do not have the energy to even get out of bed.

Stress is a factor for me but I imagine it is different for everybody. And actually, having thought about it the stress is there for everybody, it seems to be part of modern life. So it is not the stress itself that is the cause but how I deal with it, how I handle it that is the problem.

And the way to recovery . . .

You know, depression is such an inward looking thing that I have not felt much like writing over the last couple of months, or at least not sharing, some things are just too personal . . . 

But “keep writing” said swallowtail in a comment on my last post, and she was right - it helps, thankyou.
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