According to Aware, one-in-10 people in Ireland suffer with depression at any given time.
We all have times when our mood dips, in response to death of a loved one, for example; and in time, many people find ways to live with the new reality of life without their family member or friend, and they do go on to enjoy life again. Depression, however, is different to this. When depression hits, the mood is one of sadness and hopelessness; there is a lack of drive and interest in life; plus, a tendency to withdraw from previously enjoyed activities and to isolate from others; low energy and fatigue are common, as are problems with sleep; concentration is difficult; anxiety and self-doubt seep in. To find yourself in the middle of a bout of depression is to find yourself in one of the most challenging situations in life. But there is help out there, and knowing what to do if you find yourself feeling depressed or if you suspect that a loved one may be going through it is very useful.
First, visit your GP and tell them how you feel, and what life is like for you now. This is not about reaching for the medication right away - sometimes meds are appropriate, and sometimes they aren’t the best approach. But your GP is interested in your overall health - both physical and mental - and they are a great source of information and advice, and an excellent first port of call in this situation.
Secondly, find a mental health professional who works in the area of depression, and make an appointment to see them for a consultation. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) is found to be hugely effective in helping people move through depression, so it is well worth talking to someone who knows this approach. Depression involves a variety of factors - thinking and behaviour being two of these. Sometimes we hold core beliefs, or we engage in behaviours that are inadvertently helping to maintain a state of depression; and so, learning about the role of thinking and of behaviour is invaluable, and can be the turning point for many people. Go to to find a list of registered Cognitive Behaviour therapists in Ireland.
Thirdly, check out to find out more about the resources available, just so that you can see that there are people out there who can help with this, and that it is possible to come through how you feel now and out the other side. When in the middle of an episode of depression, it can feel as though you will never feel differently than you do now, but thankfully, there are some very effective resources available. Even seeing some of these will be helpful, even if it does not fully register right now.
Fourthly, think about the people in your life, and see if there is someone to whom you can tell how you feel. Choose carefully - you do not need someone who will try to ‘fix’ you, or who will jump in with stories of how hard life is for them. You just need someone kind, open, and emotionally mature, who will really hear you. Go to them and say something like this:
“I just want to share with you how I am feeling at the moment, because I am struggling right now. I am not telling you to ask you to fix me, or to worry about me - just to hear me. I am going to get professional help with this and so, me talking to you is just about having someone in my world know what life is like for me right now. It helps to know that someone knows the truth.”  
Lastly, if you can manage even a 10-minute walk outside every day, then give it a go. Going from your home and walking five minutes in one direction, and five minutes back is a behaviour that will serve you well when it comes to moving towards feeling well again. This is about recognising that, sometimes, we need to do the behaviour first and the feeling comes afterwards. So, whilst you are highly unlikely to feel like walking, when you go ahead and do it anyway, in time, you will feel the benefit of it - both physically and mentally.
If you find yourself suffering with any of the symptoms associated with depression, then go through these steps above and you will give yourself the best chance to reclaim your life and to feel well again. What would it be like to have energy and vitality again; to sleep well and to be able to concentrate; to connect with loved ones and participate properly in life; to see a present and a future that was attractive to you? Follow this advice, and you will find out.
Final Thought:
“It’s OK not to feel OK, and it’s absolutely OK to ask for help” ~ Cycle Against Suicide.
Performance and Life Coach