This is the 11th session of Ask The Coach. The main aim of this weekly session is to ask you, the reader, to ask a question to the coach by posting a comment on this post and each week myself and Ayo Olaniyan will attempt to help you by answering your questions.
This weeks coach is Steven Aitchison, owner of this blog. Next week Ayo Olaniyan will be asnwering the Ask The Coach question.
How can I deal with deep depression as I have no one in the world I can talk to as I have not one friend. I am on a course and every student is totally self obsessed and selfish. I have no one to ture to and ask for help. How do I deal with this situation. I am totally alone in the world.
Thanks for posting your question on Ask the Coach
I have to say that you are never ever alone in the world, although it may feel that way sometimes. Knowing that there is always help out there for you may help alleviate some of your anxieties. The kind of help I am talking about are student counsellors, doctors, help lines, online forums etc.
First off, I would like to state I am not a qualified psychologist or psychiatrist and can only offer general information on what might work for you. However, I believe mild depression can be self treated with the right questions and the right approach. I would advise you to see a doctor or your student counsellor about this if you believe you cannot self manage your depression.
What is Depression?
Although we may not think it when we are suffering from this, depression affects 1 in 5 adults in the western world and is the most common reason for visiting a doctor. We can still experience a normal, healthy life if we suffer from mild depression however more sever forms of depression can lead to thoughts of suicide, self harm and even suicide attempts. If you feel at all suicidal then see a doctor immediately or call a self help line for someone to talk to until you can see a doctor, there are always self help lines avail;able, usually free of charge, to help you.
Symptoms of depression
If you don't really know if you are suffering from depression here is a run down of some of the most common symptoms of depression:
Feeling sad quite a lot of the time
Losing interest in friends and family
Crying a lot for no apparant reason
Feeling alone even when in the company of others
Thoughts of suicide
Thinking negatively about your life
Poor concentration and memory
Giving up on life and thinking 'what's the point'
Difficulty with sleeping
Losing weight or putting weight on
Loss of trust in people
Loss of faith
Loss of direction in life
All of the above symptoms can lead to you emotionally cutting off from the world and isolating yourself This might also lead to you become less active and finding yourself having difficulty and feeling stressed over the slightest little thing, like making a cup of tea.
You will more than likely know when you are depressed but having a look at the symptoms above will give you a good indication of whether or not you are depressed.
What causes depression?
There is no one single cause of depression and basically everybody is different in the ways they react to their situation in life. It could be that you have had a run of bad luck and you've gotten into a negative thinking pattern or it could be a major event that you have just not been able to get over.
What to do about your depression
Often with the thoughts you are feeling Tarlach you sometimes feel that you know what everyone is thinking about you when this is just not the case at all. You don't have mind reading abilities so you cannot know that everybody is self obsessed and selfish, there might be someone else on your course who is feeling exactly the same way as you, and because you have not opened up they think you are self obsessed and also do not open up. The fact is we don't know what other people feel and think about and using the statistic above, 1 in 5 adults have suffered from depression, it is more than likely than some of your classmates have felt the same way as you.
Okay, down to what you can do to help yourself.
If it is mild depression there are always things you can do to help yourself.
This is one of the main keys to staying healthy both mentally and physically. Keeping active means you are always thinking about different things and not spending too much dwelling on yourself and your problems. Dwelling on your situation makes it seem worse than it usually is and can lead to a downward spiral of negative thniking about other things in your life.
Keeping active doesn't mean going to the gym it means getting out of the hosue and doing different things in your life such as walking, visiting friends, visiting family, going out to the cinema, just basically forcing yourself to go out and about and be amongst other people. If you stay in too much you could develop a phobia about going out.
Talk to others
there is always someone to talk to even if it is a helpline of some kind and although there may be a stigma attached to calling help lines the fact it they could very well save your life and help you through a bad patch in life.
Resist using negative coping strategies
A lot of people turn to alcohol and drugs as a way to cope with their depression, this will only lead to you feeling even more depressed, guilty and anxious about life. Alcohol is a depressant and will only make your depression worse and can lead to other problems which will not help your situation.
Join a group
You will usually find there is a group in your area running a group for people who are depressed. These groups meet up and organise social events to help you stay integrated with other people. These groups are a fantastic way to make new friends, and to get yourself out of the house and do something.
There are lots of things you can do about depression Tarlach and I hope this article has helped or given you some ideas as to what you can do. You can always drop me an email if you wish using the contact form and I will be happy to help out where I can, however I would re-iterate that it is a good idea to speak to your doctor or student counsellor about this.