What happens when depression signs and symptoms take hold?
The typical depression signs and symptoms can be understood as the natural response to the life that is not working well and which unravels. This is the sequence:
- Something happens in your life that pushes you off balance… and you quite naturally and healthily begin to worry about it, looking for a solution that will calm you and bring you back to equilibrium.
- But this does not happen and as the problem persists, it becomes harder and harder to deal with. And you are aware of those rigid thinking habits that arise whenever you are under pressure and maybe also the emotion of past bad memories – and as these impose themselves, it is even more difficult to get your life back on track.
- Then your sleeping begins to deteriorate and in particular you are increasingly tired and exhausted in the morning when you wake up. You may also be dimly aware that you are dreaming much more.
- Your problems become harder and harder to deal with and seem to be multiplying and as motivation and energy disappear, you worry more and more, introspecting and blaming yourself.
What is happening is you are locking into a depression trance, focusing internally and negatively, losing hope and as good deep wave sleep becomes pushed out by excessive dreaming, you may finally be finding that physical aches and pains add to your sense of hopelessness and stuckness – another of the signs of depression.
This used to be called a state of nervous exhaustion and you can see why. If very severe, this can even transmute into psychotic experiences.So depression signs and symptoms can unravel.
The simple explanation of depression signs and symptoms
Depression is the mental and physical exhaustion caused by the body’s need to dream more than it is capable of, in order to deal with a situation that appears increasingly impossible.
And why is there the need to engage in high energy dreaming? It is the attempt to clear the excessive levels of arousal, worrying and exhaustion which caused the problems in the first place.
And so we have a self feeding vicious circle where signs and symptoms of depression multiply.
You can read many lists of depression signs and symptoms, and indeed for many lists this is all they offer as they have no coherent explanation. Such as:
- Feeling miserable and sad, being exhausted, finding the smallest tasks impossible
- Losing any sense of enjoyment
- Feeling a failure, guilty and a burden and that life is not worth living or passing you by
- Avoiding people, losing self-confidence
- Being tense and irritable all the time
- Having difficulty sleeping, dreaming all night long
- Enduring physical aches and pains which appear to have no physical cause
It is easy to see how these Depression signs and symptoms fit into the explanation above.
Common misconceptions about depression signs and symptoms
Depression symptoms are caused by a chemical imbalance
Low serotonin is the result not the cause of depression – and this is why anti-depressants are rarely the answer. Anti-depressants treat symptoms and not underlying causes and seem to work by suppressing REM (or dream) sleep.
Depression symptoms are hereditary
The fact that family members may all suffer from depression is better explained by their common environments than their common genes. That it is learned – in terms of thinking styles and coping mechanisms.
Depression symptoms reflect a disease
It is not a biological disorder – there is no chemical test available or possible or yet devised that can mark a depression
How else but through environmental factors can the tenfold increase in depression symptoms amongst those born after 1945 be explained? Surely, it is that society has changed – family breakdown, greater materialism and focus on self, a reduced sense of obligation and duty, new technologies changing leisure and work at rapid rates, an increasing dependence on the state – how is that for starters as the environmental factors that create worry and dis-empowerment – all of which make it more difficult to get our essential human needs met.
There are many different types of depression – such as post-partum, teenage, grief etc
No, when you really investigate all depressions and symptoms of depression, they all have the same underlying causes. You might as well have a special “I have been jilted by my girlfriend” depression.
Depression counselling is the core of what I do. This is because we know what a depression is – a REM sleep disorder caused by excessive worrying. You won’t find many doctors telling you this. Yet it is so.