Feeling sad or down is normal from time to time, especially after tough times. This can be a break-up or troubles with friends or family. We might not expect it but sometimes we can feel down or burnt out after adjusting to a really big change in life. Such as starting high school or moving out. Generally, after some time, those sad feelings will go away. And this allows us to get back to our usual lifestyle.
Depression is feeling sad or down but we might notice that it’s a very intense feeling. It lingers for a longer period of time, and stops us from doing the things we want to do. It may feel like the sadness doesn’t go away with time. There is no simple reason that explains how depression begins. The good news is that depression can be managed. We can still thrive and live a good life even when living with depression!
Like many mental health concerns, people experience depression differently. When we begin to notice signs of depression, it is important to manage it early before it grows into a bigger issue.
Individuals are unique, so depression can look different from person to person. However, depression can cause changes in how your body or heart feels. It can also affect what or how you think, and how you behave. When you notice these changes sticking around for at least 2 weeks, that’s a pretty good sign that you should look into mental health supports.
Here are some common signs of depression.
Smiling can relax vocal cords and affect hormones in your body. It also loosens muscles of the face and around your cheekbones. This can trigger a happier mood and encourages friendliness from others.
There are lots of things that you can do to improve how you feel and get better at managing tough feelings. It can feel hard to find the energy or motivation to do these things. Sometimes it might feel like nothing will help. Try starting with one thing you can do, then slowly add things in step by step. This can help you feel like you’re making progress.
It’s easier to deal with the challenges of low mood when they’re recognized early. You can take action on your own or with support from friends, family or professionals.
Are you uncertain about where to start or feel uncomfortable talking to a healthcare provider? If you’d like to first open up to someone who can understand what you are going through, we have peer support workers to talk to! Kickstand peer support workers come from different backgrounds and have their own experiences with mental health or substance use challenges. They are trained for virtual appointments and can offer you emotional support and connections based on their lived experiences. Click here to make a free appointment!
Some practical things that you can try today include:
Try not to slouch or slump. Slouching impairs mental cognition. It increases your feelings of being down or tired. Try straightening your spine. Hold your head up high, and open your shoulders. Keep breathing calmly. Chances are you’ll feel a boost in energy and self-confidence.
Don’t lie to yourself or others or hide how you are feeling. It is important to be yourself. It is okay not to be okay.
“Act as if…” is a way to do something that may help you feel a bit better. Those feelings can build on themselves and get parts of your brain working to help you climb out of the place where you are feeling down.
Sometimes, people can experience a constant low mood that does not seem to go away, no matter what. If you are experiencing this might find it helpful to speak with your doctor. Doctors can help find the right medication or treatment (eg. therapy) to help you feel better. You deserve to get the support you need!
Low Mood & Depression – Foundry – (foundrybc.ca)
Jigsaw, The National Centre for Youth Mental Health | Frayme
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All information on this site is intended to provide assistance and guidance but cannot replace the care of a medical professional.