Struggling To Cope & Withdrawn
Psychologically, and to some extent physiologically, clinical depression is a hibernative state. Everything in the world around us seems simply too much to cope with and we withdraw from it into ourselves.
We may keep going with things that we simply have to, like parenting and work, but most other things stop. The outside world loses its appeal, we can think of nothing to interest us, nothing sparks joy in us, nothing coming up fires any enthusiasm. We often know how things should feel, but they just don’t. In fact, the ordinary demands of our lives feel burdensome and often provoke anxiety in us.
In depression, our minds are simply not working with their usual flexibility and to their usual capacity. We often feel in a mental fog. Like driving in a fog we go slowly and are fearful of what might be ahead of us.
A Painful State Of Mind
Depression is a painful state of mind. While we feel numb about the world around us, we experience the strangeness of this as profoundly abnormal and indeed painful. We are perplexed by this and often judge ourselves harshly because of it, resulting in cycles of self-criticism and shame.
The pain of this, and our inability to see through to a future which is different can combine to lead to despairing states of mind. Seeing no way out we may begin to think it was better that we were not here at all. Steps beyond this can lead to tragedy.
Treatment Needs Careful & Expert Diagnosis
Serious depression is always in the first instance best treated with the use of medication. Anti-depressant medications have been in use for over sixty years and have gone through generations of change and refinement.
The way in which they work is well understood at a biochemical level, though how this translates into changes in the state of our brain and in our state of mind is less clear. It is challenging to think that something which subtly alters the biochemical state of our brain can result in restorative changes in our minds, but this is often the result. Different antidepressant medications will be effective for different patients.
Sometimes clues about what type will be most effective can come from the specific patterns of a patient’s symptoms.
In some circumstances, the demands of life can be so overwhelming that a period of time away from these and in a caring hospital environment will be the best place for treatment to begin.
Call me to find out how we can help or to make a time to discuss your situation in complete confidence.