I don’t know about you but at this time of the year I find it a little harder to be happy than in the summer. Maybe it’s the warm weather or the sun that makes me smile, or the fact that when I was a student the warm weather signaled the end of the year and the larger break period between semesters. Winter however brings on the cold weather and it also reminds me of the rush of assignments. The feedback on those assignments and the lower grades than I had hoped for. Regardless of why sometimes I felt like I wasn’t myself and maybe you also notice you’re not your usual happy self. It’s OK to feel down at times and to slink into the corner and lick your wounds whilst recovering. After that period is over (a few days at most) it’s time to get back up, reward yourself with something nice and get back on the bike so to speak. If you find you can’t seem to manage that it might be time to ask for some help with it.
Maybe you have noticed that you are withdrawing from friends and family, feeling irritable or guilty, thinking that you can’t do anything right or you might be having difficulty sleeping or sleeping to much. These are all signs to watch for depression. I have put together a little list of things to watch out for below.
- not going out anymore
- not getting things done at work/school
- withdrawing from close family and friends
- relying on alcohol and sedatives
- not doing usual enjoyable activities
- unable to concentrate
- Feeling overwhelmed, guilty, frustrated, unhappy, indecisive or sad
- Negative self thoughts like : ‘I’m a failure.’, ‘It’s my fault.’ or ‘I’m worthless.’
- tired all the time
- sick, headaches, sore muscles
- stomach upset
- sleep problems
- change of appetite and weight changes
If you have noticed any of these it could be time to ask for some help. You can discuss this with your GP or make an appointment with one of the counsellors on campus, or if you prefer jump online using the Skype Drop-in hours and chat with the online counsellor about what you can do.