What is depression?

D epression is more than a feeling of sadness. People with depression may experience a general lack of interest and pleasure in daily activities, significant weight gain or loss, insomnia or excess sleep, lack of energy, lack of concentration, feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt, and even in some occasions recurring thoughts of death or suicide.

Signs of depression

Feelings

  • Feeling sad.
  • Feelings of hopelessness, that things couldn’t get better.
  • Feeling irritable.
  • Feeling empty.
  • Feeling tired, despite sleeping.
  • Feeling restless.

Thoughts

  • To think that nothing makes you happy.
  • Thoughts that things will not get better.
  • To think that problems are your fault.
  • Thoughts that you are not good enough or good.
  • Thinking about death or ending your life.

Behavior

  • Having difficulty thinking clearly, concentrating or making decisions.
  • Lack of interest in the things you liked.
  • Eat much less or much more than usual.
  • Difficulty falling asleep or sleeping longer than usual.
  • To have aches and pains that do not seem to be justified by something else.

Why do I have depression?

D epression can occur on any occasion and it is not your fault. You are at increased risk for depression when you are experiencing difficult situations. Here are some examples:

  • When you are under stress (for example, starting a new project, moving to a new city, or having problems at home or at work).
  • When you feel powerless (for example, going through a low-income period, or a family member’s illness).
  • When you are bullied or abused (for example, bullying at work or school).

Some people experience depression only at certain times of the year, it’s called “seasonal affective disorder.”

What can I do?

First step

I f you think you may be experiencing depression, think of someone to talk to. It is not always easy to ask for help, but it is important to externalize your feelings: other people will not be able to help you if they do not know what you are going through.

Next steps

L ater it will be necessary to seek specialized help. For example, talk to your family doctor for a referral to a psychologist, or look for a psychologist who seems to you a good option.

Recovery

R ecovery can occur at different stages. It takes time to recover and return to your old routines. The first step is to leave behind negative thoughts and guilt. Don’t blame yourself or be ashamed: 1 in 4 people have suffered from depression. It’s OK to ask for help and take time for yourself.


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Dear Clients,

As part of the COVID-19 epidemic and following the recommendations of the Belgian Commission of Psychologists, the office remains open but only with online consultations by Skype.

If you have any doubts you can reach me directly by email: joel@psy.brussels; or by Whatsapp: 0486.02.22.02.

I will keep you informed of any changes.

Regards,
Joel