The Hidden Struggles: Unveiling Phlegmatic Depression
Most of us lead busy lives, often leaving little time for self-reflection and introspection. Inevitably, this means that life’s struggles can go unnoticed, hidden from view by our daily routines and responsibilities. But for some, depression is a silent struggle, one often dismissed as just having a ‘bad day’ or ‘feeling a bit down’. This type of depression is known as phlegmatic depression, a condition which can be extremely difficult to identify but may have significant consequences. In this article, we’ll explore the hidden symptoms of phlegmatic depression to help individuals who have been affected to find support and assistance.
1. Exploring the Nature of Phlegmatic Depression
Phlegmatic depression is a lesser-known type of clinical depression. It is characterised by an intensifying state of exhaustion, complete apathy to all activities, and a lack of enthusiasm and motivation. Though it has yet to be defined in the medical literature, phlegmatic depression is beginning to make its presence felt on the depression stage.
People with phlegmatic depression often appear as shy, introverted, and passive. On the outside, they may seem to lack energy and driven by a pessimistic view of the world. Due to their withdrawn behaviour, phlegmatic depressions are sometimes hard to diagnose and are often overlooked.
Here are some signs that a person is struggling with phlegmatic depression:
- Feeling exhausted all the time – feeling as though you lack the energy to go through the day. This can include physical exhaustion as well as mental exhaustion.
- Complete apathy – feeling indifferent and disconnected from your own emotions and the emotions of others.
- Negative view of the world – thinking pessimistically about most aspects of life. It can seem as though life is a hopeless endeavour.
It is important to remember that depression is not a sign of weakness or failure; but rather, it is a serious mental illness that requires treatment. If you think you or someone you know may be struggling with phlegmatic depression, it is important to seek professional help.
2. The Emotional Impact of Phlegmatic Depression
Phlegmatic depression, often referred to as melancholic depression, is a hidden mental health condition that can severely affect those who live with it. Centuries of stigma around depression have hidden the reality that this condition can exist between the obvious signs of depression. It’s important to recognize phlegmatic depression so those struggling with it can seek out the help they need.
Phlegmatic depression has been described as a “slow-moving and insidious form of depression.” This is a telling description, helping us to understand the distinctive symptoms of this condition. Though in some ways it may look like depression, the differences in the signs make it difficult to fully diagnose and treat.
The defining features of phlegmatic depression are a tendency for deep, powerful emotion often laced with guilt and shame. People with the condition may experience extreme sadness, loneliness, feelings of hopelessness, and overwhelming emotions that seem to exist withoutaneously.
The severity of phlegmatic depression can easily be overlooked as the signs tend to be internalized and sufferers often don’t know how to explain what they’re feeling. But thoughts of suicide and hopelessness are very real risks for those dealing with the condition.
Though those struggling with phlegmatic depression are unlikely to speak publicly about the condition, the experience of living with it can be incredibly isolating. It takes strength to continue to try to fight the symptoms and take the steps needed to seek proper treatment.
- Sadness and loneliness
- Guilt and Shame
- Hopelessness and suicidal thoughts
- A sense of isolation
Though living with phlegmatic depression can be difficult, it’s not something that has to wreak havoc on life forever. With the right help, those who suffer from this condition can begin the road to recovery in no time.
3. Physical Symptoms of Phlegmatic Depression
People who have phlegmatic depression often experience physical symptoms that worsen their condition. For those who have this, the toll can be draining both physically and mentally. Let’s take a look at some of the common physical symptoms that make up this affliction.
- Fatigue: Phlegmatic depression can worsen the body’s natural feeling of fatigue, leading to a constant feeling of exhaustion that can leave an individual unable to complete daily activities.
- Weight fluctuations: People who suffer from this kind of depression often experience sudden changes in weight, both gaining and losing it. This can lead to unhealthy dietary choices, further exacerbating the problem.
- Headaches and body aches: Constant headaches and body aches are common indicator of phlegmatic depression. This occurs due to irregular release of chemicals in the brain which causes pain or discomfort in various areas of the body.
- Changes in sleep: Insomnia is a major symptom of phlegmatic depression, with sufferers often sleeping for extended periods or having difficulty falling asleep at all.
- Digestive issues: Phlegmatic depression can cause irregular digestion, leading to a host of uncomfortable issues such as bloating, constipation, or diarrhea.
These physical symptoms can often be mistaken for other conditions or illnesses, leading to incorrect diagnosis and further complications down the line. That’s why it’s important to discuss any physical or mental symptoms with a doctor immediately, in order to ensure an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment.
4. Strategies for Coping with Phlegmatic Depression
Realizing It Is Not Easy
Living with phlegmatic depression can be difficult to recognize. People with this type of disorder often feel a heavy sense of apathy and disinterest in life. It can be hard to tell if these feelings are normal or are due to the presence of depression. Because the phlegmatic temperament is typically the least expressive and least concerned with emotional states, individuals are likely to remain in a state of unawareness until the symptoms become more severe.
Seeking Professional Help
The first step in addressing depression of any kind is to seek the help of a professional. A physician can lead you in the right direction by assessing mental health and prescribing treatment plans. It is also recommended to speak to a therapist, counselor, or psychologist about ways to deal with depression. Talking through the underlying causes and triggers of the disorder can be a great way to uncover any deeply-rooted feelings or behaviors that may be contributing to it.
Living with a Positive Mindset
Although it may be difficult to overcome the persistent apathy that comes with phlegmatic depression, it is important to remind yourself daily of the good things that bring you joy and focus on what you can control. Practicing gratitude, even on the darker days, can help to remind you of the good and the beauty in life. Things like journaling and spending time outdoors can help to clear the mind and provide an open space to process all you are feeling.
Staying Connected with Supportive People
When it’s hard to get through hard times, having a good support system of people around you is essential. Developing close relationships with family and friends, and even a therapist, can be invaluable when managing depression. This will not only be comforting but can also provide a much-needed source of motivation and inspiration to take necessary steps towards healing.
Making healthy Lifestyle Choices
It’s also important to make both mental and physical lifestyle changes that cater to the individual’s needs. This can involve eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and finding ways to relax and de-stress. Getting enough sleep and setting time aside for hobbies or activities that help to distress and relax can also be beneficial.
5. Alternative Treatments for Phlegmatic Depression
Depression experienced in the phlegmatic type is found in people who rarely express their emotions. It is usually a hidden suffering, a silent challenge to the physical and emotional states. Yet, the existence of depression cannot—and should not—be overlooked.
Depression needs to be addressed. Doing so is often difficult for the phlegmatic, as they often suppress their emotions and deny they are feeling blue. If left untreated, depression can worsen so it is important to start by correctly identifying it. Listed below are some of the alternative treatments available for phlegmatic depression:
- Massage therapy: Massage helps to reduce stress levels and negative feelings. A qualified massage therapist can determine what type of massage is best suited for the individual.
- Meditation and mindfulness: The main goal of this form of therapy is to cultivate awareness and re-establish connection with the body and mind. Meditation can help to alleviate depression, reduce stress and foster relaxation.
- Exercise: Regular exercise strengthens physical and mental resilience, producing endorphins which boosts mood. Low-impact exercises such as swimming, walking and yoga over short periods can benefit significantly.
- Music therapy: Listening to particular types of music can be effectively used to treat depressed feelings. Music therapy entails combining verbal psychotherapy while engaging in listening to music to help gain insight into their depression.
- Nutritional therapy: The benefits of a balanced diet are well-known; it is especially useful in moderating and treating mental health conditions such as depression in the phlegmatic. Nutritional therapy aims to improve symptoms by finding the food that best supports and nourishes the individual.
These treatments can help to alleviate depression, but they should not be used as sole forms of treatment. Professional and medical guidance is a recommended—and safe—way for identifying and assessing, as well as beginning to address, depression in the phlegmatic.
6. Seeking Professional Support for Phlegmatic Depression
The reality of Phlegmatic depression goes far beyond sadness or a lack of motivation. People living with phlegmatic depression often feel exhausted, both emotionally and physically. The world around them, with its vibrant colors and endless cheerful activity, may appear in a dull, colorless stage. For those struggling with phlegmatic depression, it may often feel like an invisible, debilitating force preventing them from being able to express what they are feeling or ultimately living a fulfilling life. The ability to connect with people on an interpersonal level is also greatly affected by Phlegmatic depression.
When searching for help to address Phlegmatic depression, there are many different options to choose from. Here are some unique approaches that may be beneficial in managing this type of depression:
- Therapy: Work on developing coping strategies to handle the overload of stress and other emotions that accompany this type of depression.
- Medication: Different medications may be prescribed to alleviate symptoms.
- Support groups: There are many resources for those living with phlegmatic depression, such as online support groups that can provide information and emotional support.
- Self-care: Taking care of your own physical and mental health is of utmost importance. Try to get adequate sleep, nutrition, and exercise.
- Creative outlets: Painting, writing, or other forms of art can help express emotions in a safe and controlled environment.
By utilizing the recommended approaches to treating phlegmatic depression, those with this condition can begin to recognize their struggles and work towards finding the help and support they need. Living with phlegmatic depression can be both physically and mentally draining but seeking professional guidance is a great first step in learning how to cope and live a more fulfilling life.
Depression is a highly personalized experience. Through understanding the common facets of each type, we can support our loved ones more comprehensively. Though phlegmatic depression may not be as widely discussed, it may be the missing link for many people seeking needed help and healing.