Healthy coping skills include things such as: talking to someone who cares, exercise, sports, reading, listening to music, doing something nice for someone else, talking to or spending time with pets, watching a good movie, spending time with a friend, going to your special place to think, developing a sense of humor and any thing else that can have the effect of lifting your spirit.
Unhealthy coping skills includes things such as alcohol or drug abuse, reckless driving, promiscuity, self-mutilations, isolation, excessive risk taking, anger acted out as violence, or any thing else that has the effect of increasing your shame, guilt, or feelings of poor self-worth.
When eustress leads to stress and on to distress we have a situation where coping skills begin breaking down. This leads to loss and an accumulation of loss leads to a sense of powerlessness. Powerlessness can lead to depression.
The signs and symptoms of depression occur on a continuum—-from mild feelings of sadness or grief, which everyone experiences at some time, to clinical depression, a serious behavioral or emotional pattern in which several symptoms of depression are exhibited over a prolonged period.
Depression is a condition–a combination of feelings, signs and symptoms. Stress is usually an important factor in the depression.
Depression is trackable and is part of a process. It doesn’t just one day happen.
Symptoms of depression vary widely from individual to individual.
A person suffering from clinical depression usually shows at least four symptoms persisting nearly every day for at least two weeks.
Some depression is normal. Usually we call this sadness or grief.
Grieving is a process of coming to terms with loss or losses. It is different from depression, as is sadness, although sadness may be a key component in the grieving process.
Depression describes a person’s mood, how one feels. When we talk about depression, we are talking about a feeling.
Early symptoms of depression also include general feelings of anxiety, panic, or fear.
Here is a short list of the Symptoms of Depression:
- negative or antisocial behavior
- feelings of not being understood or approved of
- restlessness, grouchiness, sulkiness, aggression
- unwillingness to cooperate in family projects
- withdrawal from social activities
- hiding out in one’s room
- inattention to personal appearance
- extreme or sudden mood changes
- sensitivity to rejection, especially in love relationships
- abuse of alcohol or other drugs
- sexual promiscuity
- weight loss or weight gain
- sleeplessness or sleeping more than normal
- physical agitation or restlessness
- physical lethargy, dragging around, slowed physical responses
- poor appetite, significant weight loss when not dieting
- increased appetite, significant weight gain
- insomnia or hypersomnia (inability to fall asleep or need for excessive amounts of sleep)
- physical agitation–a jumpy, nervous, twitching, restless body
- slowed physical body movements, no “spunk,” dragging around
- loss of interest or pleasure in usual activities (not able to have fun)
- apathy (an “I-don’t-care” attitude)
- loss of energy, fatigue
- feelings of worthlessness or excessive feelings of guilt and self-blame
- inability to think or concentrate, slowed thinking and/or inability to make decisions
- frequent thoughts of death or suicide, death wish or suicide attempt
- Usually there is not just one cause of depression.
- Depression can be physical (organic), having its origin in the body’ biochemistry; or it can be functional, having its origin in the individual’s environment.
- Environmental factors include psychological stressors (e.g. divorce, major illness, alcoholism in family) and traumatic events (e.g. death of a loved one, incest, rape).
- Most often, the first occurrence of a major depression takes place before age 30, and depression may recur throughout one’s life.
- Environmental factors, including psychological stressors and traumatic events, have one important element in common–the element of loss.
- Feelings of powerlessness or helplessness become more likely to occur as losses multiply.
- Feelings of powerlessness may lead to the trapped feeling of despair, which may result in depression.
- Often depression results from a type of trapped, unexpressed, immobilized anger. Without a way to release this anger, individuals may turn the anger that belongs outside on themselves.
- Even when available resources exist, most young people do not consider contacting a professional for help with depression.