We all feel down from time to time. It’s a normal and natural part of life, and the hard times we sometimes have to go through make us cherish the good moments even more. However, when sadness turns into despair and hopelessness, to the point where you can no longer enjoy the things you once used to love, you might have depression – a serious mental health problem that affects millions of people in the UK. Even the smallest activities can feel challenging when you have depression, and it can impact your ability to work, sleep, eat, and interact with other people. But, no matter how lost and hopeless you may feel right now, know that you can regain control of your life. You are not alone, and you can get better.
What are the signs and symptoms of depression?
Many people imagine that depression is just feeling sad for a very long time. However, that’s a very minimised definition of depression, which can manifest in different ways from person to person, and the signs can often be underplayed. Some people describe depression as feeling not sad, but empty, hopeless, and lost. Others feel angry and experience mood swings. This is why it’s important to try to keep track of your feelings, how intense they are, and how long they’ve lasted.
- A negative outlook on life, the feeling that things are never going to get better
- Apathy, losing interest in family, friends, and hobbies
- Difficulty sleeping
- Changes in appetite (overeating or under eating)
- Loss of energy
- Difficulty focusing and remembering things
- Low confidence and feelings of worthlessness
- Physical symptoms such as headaches, stomach aches, a muscle pain
- Developing unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as gambling, alcohol, or drug abuse
In some cases, depression may appear as a side-effect of medication or biological factors (i.e. pregnancy), but usually, it’s caused by a combination of psychological and social factors.
Telephone counselling for depression – how can it help?
Under normal circumstances, we feel better after being under the weather after a few days. However, when that feeling of hopelessness stays for a long time, and you feel stuck, it’s important to get help and manage depression before it becomes severe.
Traditionally, people have relied on face-to-face counselling for years, but this is not the only form of counselling available. Sessions can also take place over the phone, respecting the same quality practices and care for the patient. Telephone counselling became more popular during the COVID-19 lockdown since most counsellor offices had to be closed for safety reasons, but many people have continued sessions even after the restrictions were lifted.
Telephone counselling can save you time and money because you no longer have to drive down to your counsellor’s office, which may be on the other side of town. It gives you access to more counsellors, and you only need a device connected to the Internet to start the session. If you feel nervous about seeing a specialist and you’d feel more comfortable discussing your concerns in a familiar space, telephone counselling can be the right choice for you.