You have stopped yelling or getting mad at all at the family. The kids aren’t driving you crazy, you feel crazy already. You can’t be bothered to cook so you think about ordering yet another takeaway. Your children depend on you, you have a job to do, a partner to care for and a home to keep up. You don’t have time to be depressed.
Recent research conducted by the mental health charity Mind has found that 1 in every 4 people will experience some kind of mental health problem in any given year.
A recent study also found that women are more likely to experience mental health difficulties than men. Their research found that 1 in 5 women have reported symptoms of common mental health disorders, whereas 1 in 8 men have done the same.*
The past 12 months has been nothing like an ordinary year, and although no data is available, it would be fair to assume these figures have been turned on their head.
So what causes depression? Why is it affecting women more than men? What can you do to guard yourself against depression or cure yourself if ‘the black dog’ surfaces?
In this video Marisa Peer teaches us that depression has three main causes:
- Harsh, hurtful things we say to ourselves
- Not following our hearts desire
- Being disconnected from society.
I have written an earlier post regarding the impact of the hurtful, harsh criticism we give ourselves, with advice on how to dialogue with yourself better. If you haven’t read it already, I urge you to here.
Not following our hearts desire, having those deep regrets in our lives that follow us to our death bed, these are the things we do to ourselves, for whatever reason, that cause us to be depressed.
“I would have gone to medical school if I hadn’t had children, I still wish I was a doctor”
“I loved acting, but as soon as I picked my GCSE’s my parents told me it was silly”
“I love animals, I would love a dog if my partner wasn’t allergic”
I’m not going to tell you to get a divorce if you love dogs and your partner doesn’t, but you could volunteer to walk other peoples dogs, or at an animal sanctuary.
You may not be able to get a medical degree, but could you do something else to help people?
There are lots of ways to incorporate your passion into your life (I always wanted to help people such as teach or be a social worker or counsellor, so here I am at 32 training to become a hypnotherapist, sharing my knowledge with you, wonderful reader).
The final cause of depression, Being disconnected from people, is something that has impacted us all. Our need for society, to contribute, to have human connection, is something we have felt so keenly over the last 12 months. We long for physical contact, to get back to our jobs, to feel valuable. Mother’s like myself, who love their children and understand completely they contribute (and boy do we contribute), have had other parts of who we are and how we define ourselves severed completely. Loneliness is a killer, we knew this before but now it feels even more relevant. But there is hope!
Some of our sense of connection comes from social media; but rather than spending 45 minutes browsing groups, why not check if any of your friends are online and have a quick catch up. Make a cuppa and have a video call. Even if you don’t talk much because it doesn’t feel there is anything to say, just sharing that space for 5 minutes and knowing you are not alone can mean the world to you both.
Do you know someone who is shielding, could you run errands for them. Even a quick hello (at least a meter apart with a mask on), knowing you have helped make someone’s life easier and better can make all the difference to your mental health. If your passion is animals, you could walk someone’s dog if they are unable to get out themselves at the moment, any small act that creates or enhances our sense of community is going to do wonders for your mental health and those around you. Even knowing that you are helping your community every time you wash your hands, every time you create space and each and every time you cover your face, you are contributing to your community and the health of everyone.
Depression is a very real issue that is being overshadowed by the Coronavirus pandemic, it is affecting each and every one of us. If you feel you need extra help, please reach out for help; Call your GP or book an appointment with an RTT hypnotherapist.
Next week, I’ll be coving other ways we can help prevent depression through what we eat and how we nourish our bodies.