October 30, 2013
We all go through times in our lives when we feel sad or down. It is normal to have highs and lows in life and these feelings are a normal and healthy reaction to life events. This kind of sadness is usually pretty mild and related to a specific event or something that is going on in our lives. For example, you may feel sad or down for a few days after a date you were excited about doesn’t go the way you’d hoped.
Generally, feeling down or having a period of sadness will usually go away in a few days or weeks. We may notice the change in our emotions if something gets better in the situation we are dealing with. For example, we may have a good conversation with a friend that we had a falling out with.
Sometimes we might not recognize that we might be heading towards a more serious depression because we don’t see a connection between what’s happening in our lives and the way we are feeling. Also, some of us may be more vulnerable to depression because of something traumatic that happened when we were younger. Some of us might also have family histories of depression. Sometimes it can be hard to connect the beginning of depression to one specific thing.
There can also be stigma attached to feeling down or dealing with depression. Sometimes we might find it hard to talk with people about what’s going on and might try to hide what we are feeling. It can also be difficult to understand and explain what we are feeling.
Some signs of depression:
· Difficulty concentrating
· Difficulty making decisions
· Loss of interest in the things we usually enjoy
· Negative thoughts about ourselves
· Believing nothing will ever change for us
· Believing we deserve to feel bad
· Feeling sad or numb
· Low self confidence or self esteem
· Feeling disappointed or hopeless
· Feeling angry or irritable with other people
· Feeling unattractive or unhappy with how we look
· Feeling anxious or worrying more than usual
· We may notice a change in our appetite (decrease or increase)
· Difficulty sleeping
· Loss of interest in sex
· Loss of energy, tired, or exhausted
· Difficulty being physically active.
Behaviour/Things we do
· Less productive and find it harder to work or study
· Things that usually seem easy seem hard
· Finding it hard to get out of bed in the morning
· Avoid being around other people and withdraw from social support
· We may cry more than usual
Feeling sad or low from time to time is normal. Depression may be starting to be a problem for us if the feelings don’t go away, get worse, or start to have a negative impact on our day to day lives and relationships. If we are feeling that our depression is interfering with our lives and work, people in our lives are worried about us, or we are seriously thinking about hurting ourselves, then reaching out for help is a good idea. It is helpful to remember that everybody needs support sometimes and we shouldn’t feel shame in reaching out. Remember, a lot of gay, bi and trans guys deal with these issues. It is very common. You are not alone. And you are not flawed. But you are the one who has to act if you want to improve your quality of life and get the life you want without the added stress of depression.
Centre for Addictions and Mental Health
Deciding You Want Support
Sex and Coping
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