The word “depressed” isn’t exactly something new. We hear it all the time, and for the most unsuspecting reasons! Check this dialogue out:

A: Good morning! How are you?

B: I’m depressed.

A: Why? What’s happened?

B: I hate Mondays.

Is this a familiar conversation?! It it’s something I hear so often and this is what I would call someone having the Monday morning “blues”!

So what’s the difference between the two? How bad does it have to get before we can legitimately use the word “depressed”?

Yesterday on the show I was talking to Mandy Hewey, a CBT Psychotherapist, who beautifully explained that feelings of depression range from mild to severe and can be presupposed to a sliding scale. Feeling the blues was described as being akin to mild depression and the symptoms being pretty similar, bar perhaps some suicidal tendencies, on the severe end.

Mandy suggested that early signs to look out for on an emotional level are feeling hopeless, powerless, and worthless and these can then manifest on a physical level as digestive disorders, unexplained aches and pains, insomnia, or sleeping way more than usual, loss of appetite, or perhaps overeating and cognitive changes like difficulty concentrating, remembering details etc.

Apparently 1 in 4 of us experience depression at some point in our lives, and I can certainly say that last year when I returned from Los Angeles and couldn’t go back I must have been experiencing a degree of depression because I felt anxious, couldn’t eat, experienced digestive pain and felt utterly stuck. Because I had previously trained as a coach, I was able to navigate the jungle of my mind and bring myself back into alignment over a period of a few months. It was hard mental work but I was determined to bounce back and find my power again.

But I was lucky. You may not be equipped with those tools, and if that’s the case, you need to see someone as soon as you can if any of these symptoms ring true for you. The earlier you catch it the easier it is to treat. Don’t be afraid to see a therapist. The Government started a new initiative 7 years ago called IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Treatments) and it means you can get free therapy by contacting your local IAPT.

I know there’s a stigma around psychological therapies but I really think it’s time we acknowledge that they exist and they are a good thing. I didn’t know about the IAPT initiative back then, but if I had known I certainly would have explored it. Would you?