Depression is a very common condition which affects more than 450,000 people in Ireland (one in ten) at any one time. Any of us, irrespective of age, gender or background, can be affected at some point in our life. Depression is different from feeling down or sad. Unhappiness is something which everyone feels at one time or another, usually due to a particular cause. Depression, on the other hand causes more intense and prolonged experiences of anxiety, inertia, negativity and helplessness.
If you experience five or more of these symptoms, lasting for a period of two weeks or more, you may need some professional help for a while.
- Low energy, prolonged tiredness or fatigue
- Under-sleeping or over-sleeping,waking frequently during the night
- Feeling sad, anxious or bored
- Poor concentration, decision making ability ‘slowed down’
- Loss of interest in hobbies, family or social life
- Low self-esteem and feelings of guilt
- Aches and pains with no physical basis, e.g. chest, head or tummy pain associated with anxiety or stress.
- Loss of interest in living, melancholy thoughts
Low self- esteem
What is self esteem? It is a measure of how you think and feel about yourself. If your self- esteem is low you will fall short of your potential, and may find yourself tolerating disrespectful situations and relationships. You may have difficulty in saying ‘no’ and have a tendency to sell out on what you really want for yourself.
Characteristics of Low Self Esteem
- Over concern around other people’s opinion of you.
- Difficulty in trusting your own judgement, opinion, over compliant with others and ‘people pleasing’,
- Reluctance to take on new challenges, staying in a rut even if it isn’t life enhancing.
- Comfort eating or eating disorders
- Over critical of self, inability to accept compliments,
- Self neglect.
Remember, beliefs such as the above lead to painful feelings, which then lead to unhelpful behaviours, until a vicious cycle is established. This cycle can be broken when you begin to diffuse the underlying belief systems. For anyone to be psychologically healthy, some core needs have to be fulfilled. Therefore, becoming clear about what you need and making efforts to meet those needs leads to healthy self esteem.
Work related issues
Stress can affect many aspects of working life; productivity, health and safety, relationships, work-life balance, and workplace satisfaction. According to the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, 90% of voluntary sector workers consider their job to be stressful, while 88% of teachers and 82% of health service workers report high levels of stress. Of course, different people handle stress differently; one individual may perform poorly under stress while another may actually thrive under it. Apparently, the following are the most commonly reported causes of occupational stress;
- Inadequate time to complete the job properly.
- No clear job description or chain of command
- Lack of recognition or reward for doing well
- Un-cooperative colleagues, and no channel to voice complaints.
- Prejudice/bullying in the workplace
- Lack of opportunities to use personal talent and ability effectively.