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I'm Depressed

About one in 10 of us will develop some form of depression in our lives, and one in 50 will suffer with severe depression. 

If can be confusing to know if you are depressed or if you are just feeling generally low or miserable. Everyone has down days but that doesn’t mean you have a “depressive illness”.

Life with a family member in the Armed Forces is tough. They are committing to fighting for their country and ultimately this is going to take them away from you and put them in dangerous situations. However strong you are as an individual, there will be times when you are going to feel worried, anxious and low.

 

This is horrible but normal. With all the different swings and roundabouts you endure, it is very easy to let things get on top of you. The biggest root of the cause is worry about your loved one. Seeing and reading bad news on a daily basis will shake you. All your problems become one huge lump. You can feel your life, your husband and friends will never be the same again. Will you ever become normal? 

 

COLDNESS.  It can appear that he is often angry or cold when he phones and you wonder why.  They have a job to do safely & they are taught from the day they join up to have the capability to be aloof and blank out emotional thoughts while they need to during deployment. It is going into soldier mode. It is no good them crying or having tantrums. They see allsorts of horrors or the actual being out there  and concentration needed is extremely stressful. Sometimes they cant turn off or unwind or switch off from the soldier mode that is essential  into their normal self when off shift so you end up with cold and hurtful calls. If you are depressed you can phone a friend, pop round and have a shoulder to cry on, to calm you down in many ways. You can have tantrums and they can do none of these things. They have no shoulder or sweet words from their friends or to release emotions whenever they need to. They have to bottle up their feelings and unfortunately when they do call they might get the chance to unload and open up to you to release their inner hurt. What to you seems a burst of hatred towards  you isnt. Its a kick in the teeth which you werent expecting.

 

It is so  very hard to deal with but when you are sitting down pouring over and wondering in your mind why you get such calls, do take into account their situation. You are their release valve and they feel they can unload to the one they love. The saying "You always hurt the one you love" is spot on. It truly isnt aimed at you. There may even be phases when they just dont call. It is inner strife that can cause this so be aware at times it might happen.

 

But mostly it is because of the simple reason they cant get to a phone. Thats why calls can be very irregular. They are not ignoring you at all. They get as upset as you do that they cant hear your voice.They dont do regular shifts and they have to do very long ones when needed. They cant pop to the phone whenever you wish they could so dont beat them up for lack of calls. This only causes you more depression doesnt it. You need to reduce all those ghastly down times if you can. Easy to say & damned hard to do but give it a go sometimes if you can. Ha ha who can think of cooling down when you are way into a hellish depression. Just give it a little try. 

 

 They have emotions too just like you. Equally so or perhaps 10 times worse. Dont you often need space where you cant be bothered to do something or be in touch with people? But you assume its no big thing but now you blow it all out of proportion. Just take it on board at times and realise a person cant always be happy. All you can do is your best to comfort or just listen to make things better....not that it always works.... anger swings in both directions for one reason or other so its not just them it can be you causing them upset in exactly the same way. It will take as long as it takes. Blame isnt anyones fault. It is a swirl that will calm down even if at the time you think it never will. In the cases i have said they usually last just days or a week

Stress can lead to you  feeling 'down' and 'miserable'. What is different about a depressive illness is that these feelings last for weeks or months, rather than days. In addition to feeling low most or all of the time, many other symptoms can occur in depressive illness (though not everybody has every one).

Curling up in a corner and shutting things out don’t really work. Call your close friends or family and explain your plight. They can be a Godsend. They can ease your troubles. Talking and getting things off your chest and crying can un-bottle a lot of it. They are probably feeling it too so it will help you both. If your feelings continue then go to your doctor and chat in confidence. Depression is an illness and can be treated.

 

It’s really important to keep things in perspective as small things can feel much bigger than they are. Talk to people about how you feel. Don't bottle things up. It is not a sign of weakness to get help for your problems, in the same way that it would not be to get medical help for a broken leg or a chest infection.

 

Although you may not be able to do the things you normally would, try to keep active as much as you can. Lying in bed or sitting thinking about your problems can make them seem worse. Taking physical exercise can also help depression and perhaps keep your mind off your worries.

 

However tempting it can be, try and avoid 'drowning your sorrows' or having a drink to help you sleep better. Alcohol will only make the depression worse and harder to treat.

If you are having problems sleeping, try not to lie in bed thinking about your problems and anxieties. Do something to take your mind off your worries such as reading or listening to the radio.

 

Always remember that you are suffering from an illness. It is not you being weak, and you cannot simply 'pull yourself together' (as plenty of people will tell you to). Your illness is treatable. Remember you are not alone (as we said at the start, one in ten people will suffer with depression) It is extremely common.­ You can get help, and you can beat it.