Monday, 12 January 2015

January Blues: Why do I feel so bad?

When you feel so down and depressed or anxious and panicky it's only natural you will ask yourself "why?" Why do I feel like this? And a lot of the time the answer will be "I don't know".  Which will frustrate you all the more. It's frustrating because your logical brain is screaming "but there must be a reason!" But all you can do is cry "I don't know" some more. And this might be the case for a while.
If your symptoms are a reaction to an event, such as losing a family member or friend, a relationship breaking up or losing your job, then that can be reasoned. It's in no way easy but at least you can say "I feel this way because..." . You have a clearer idea about why you feel as you do that can be worked on to help you start to feel better.
There are many different forms of depression that can stem from an event, or time of year such as:
* postnatal depression
* grief
* post traumatic stress disorder
* seasonal affective disorder
All of which can seriously affect your mental health and are recognised conditions, that some form of treatment can be sought. I will get on to treatment in another post but know that they're is help that you can get for these conditions if they are having a more chronic affect on you.
However in many cases people can really struggle to find a logical and explainable reason that they feel so bleak. Made worse by feeling numb and empty. Really not knowing what is the matter at all. Only that you feel so hopeless and shut down and even the simplest of things like getting out of bed or getting dressed feel unachievable. And this can lead to thinking it's all your fault you feel that way or even that you deserve to feel as you do. Well, you don't. Furthermore you may feel that you must be a bad person; that you must have done something wrong. Which in all likelihood is also false. Only the darkness inside of you will have you convinced otherwise.
What can be even more difficult to comprehend is if you feel depressed at a time in your life when you are 'supposed' to feel happy. For example my own experience of feeling depressed when I graduated from university, which you can read about in my introductory post to this mini series. And another story that I often reference is that of Olympic cycling gold medalist Victoria Pendleton, who was self harming even on the night she won her Olympic gold medal; an achievement she had worked so hard for years to achieve. But the outside world only sees a projection of ourselves not all the darkness that we are struggling to ward off.
Most of the time there will be answers as to why we feel as we do, but they can be very deep set. Chances are we're reacting to something. In some cases this could be something from years back. Something that has been locked up for too long and finally needs to come out. Or in some cases (and not wanting to scare anyone) an undiagnosed illness that is affecting our neurology or hormomes. I remember during the time I was at my worst it was found that I had really high levels of prolactin, which although wasn't the main cause of my condition was certainly a factor in making it worse.
Whether you have a clear idea of what is causing your condition or really struggling to find one the best thing that you can do is to seek help. If you have friends or family that understand speak to them. But your gp is a good first point of call, and they will not find your problems trivial (well they shouldn't.) They will be able to suggest a course of action to help you find out what is causing these feelings. My next post is going to be one with more information on where to get help. But if in the mean time you require help do visit your gp or you could ring the MIND helpline on 0300 123 3393 or texr 86463.


  1. I'm loving this series so far Sian. Keep up the good work. Such an important topic. Chloe

  2. Thank you Chloe. Glad you are liking this mini series. X