Depression isn't something you just wake up with one morning and it doesn't always present itself as you imagine it should. Having prolonged periods of feeling down, having little interest or pleasure in doing things, lacking in energy and trouble concentrating are all classic symptoms of depression that are widely referred to, however, there are other subtle signs to watch out for.
Depression all too often is accompanied with addiction - I see women in my clinic who are functioning, but they have dependencies and addictions to get them through each day from drinking to excess, shopping to excess, serious caffeine addictions, disordered eating, painkiller addiction, recreational drug use and smoking to excess (to name just a few). When you feel depressed, it's natural that you'll want to find ways of coping, but they aren't always necessarily healthy coping mechanisms. Although we call it 'self medicating' it's actually going to make your depression a whole lot worse.
The pursuit of perfection
So many women who are already struggling in their lives, have this need, this drive for perfection. The thing is, perfection is a bit of a mask - it's the thing that masks fear. That fear is the fear of not being good enough, or loveable or worthy of anything. If you believe you're not good enough you will strive to be the very best at everything. However, we all know that perfection doesn't exist right? So what happens when you strive for perfection and you fail? It validates that feeling of not being good enough. It's perfection or bust.
The pursuit of perfection is like a faulty circuit. It's only ever going to bring you back to one place and that place won't be a good one. Brene Brown describes perfection as a "20 tonne shield we lug around that we think is going to protect us, when in actual fact it's the thing that is preventing us from taking flight and being seen".
Extreme feelings of Guilt
If you're beating yourself up on a regular basis, feeling like you're a constant failure and that you're letting yourself down as well as others, this could be a more subtle sign that you're depressed. Having extreme feelings of guilt, that has become all consuming is a red flag that something's just not quite right.
If you're experiencing any symptoms of depression, including the more subtle ones, reach out and talk to someone before you get to crisis point. Whilst there's no magic treatment for depression, there are treatments that do work. It's about finding the right one for you. And remember you’re not alone, lots of people deal with and recover from depression – and the more people talk about it, the less people feel afraid to seek help.
Catherine Asta Labbett is a Psychotherapist + Success Coach supporting women on their journey to DISCO BALL Sparkle and is also the Director + Founder of
Girl Tribe Gang
Catherine works with women all over the UK and beyond in person and via Facetime/Skype from her clinic base in Ilkley, Yorkshire