Saturday, June 29, 2013

Low energy: is it normal or am I depressed?

Low energy. Something I rarely understand and others don't understand with me!

Consumer point: Sometimes it hard to tell if my low energy is due to depression or due to normal day to day every activities. Whenever I start something new, say for instance a new job or something in my routine that changes my schedule and I come home exhausted and all I want to do is sit on the couch. Uh oh, rings a bell in my head, here comes my depression again. I have thought so much about things that show me I am depressed that sometimes I can overreact and think that being normal tired (ie: something that would make anyone tired) is my depression. I do do a lot. Understanding that I can't do everything is important.
However, on the other end of the spectrum, sometimes I need time to recharge my mental health and people do not understand this. They think that I am blowing them off or don't understand how sometimes I do just need to be on the couch for awhile. I get very very frustrated trying to explain to people that I am not blowing them off, but sometimes I just need time to relax.

OT tips:

  • Time management:
    • Planning out the week, to make sure that there is an occupational balance
    • Helping clients to understand when this is low energy vs. symptom of depression
  • Energy conservation
    • Helping clients to plan emotionally and/or physically draining activities throughout the week and not overdue it in one day
  • Acknowledgement
    • Acknowledging that living with a mental illness is hard and sometimes you do just need to recharge
    • Acknowledging when there seems to be low energy that is not typical and a sign of worsening depression
  • Exercise
    • Exercise can help to combat some of that low energy
    • Eating healthy 

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