“Depression is more than simply feeling unhappy up for a few days”
Most people will go through phases in their life when they aren’t feeling the best about things. For example, money, relationships, education and more, maybe they wish they were living someone else’s life. The majority of people will label this as ‘being depressed’ when really, that is the wrong definition.
Depression is a serious illness with real symptoms. It isn’t when you feel down for a couple of days and then everything is fine again, if you are suffering from depression you can feel persistently sad for weeks or even months. It’s a long term illness and it comes and goes over a long period of time. Depression is not a sign of weakness, neither is it something you can ‘snap out of’ by ‘pulling yourself together’ it is hard for people to understand people suffering from depression because they are very good at hiding the fact they are depressed. However, you don’t have to suffer it alone or feel like you have to deal with it. With the correct treatment and support, most people are able to make a full recovery.
How to tell if you’re depressed:
Depression affects people in different ways and can cause a wide variety of symptoms. They range from long lasting feelings of sadness and hopelessness to losing interest in things you once enjoyed and feeling tearful. Most people who suffer from depression also have symptoms of anxiety which is also another illness, giving you feelings of unease such as worry or fear that can be mild or severe. Not only are there mental symptoms, there are physical symptoms for example, feeling constantly tired, lack of sleep, having no appetite or sex drive and complaining of various aches and pains not knowing why they are there.
The mildest symptoms include feeling persistently low in spirit while at its most severe, it can make you feel suicidal and that life is no longer worth living. The majority of people will not act on this instinct. When you begin to feel suicidal, you know this is when you need to seek help from a professional.
A lot of people wait too long to go and speak to a doctor however the NHS advise you not to delay seeing someone as the sooner you do, the closer you are to recovery! There is usually a main trigger for depression, normally a life changing event such as bereavement, losing your job, death or even having a baby. Also, people with family history of depression are also more likely to experience it themselves. Depression is a more common illness than you would expect, it affects on average one in ten of us at some point during our lives. It can affect anyone, men and women, young and old. It can also strike children. The NHS claim studies have shown that about 4% of children aged 5-16 in the UK alone are affected by depression which personally, I find upsetting.
Treatment for depression normally involves medication or talking treatments. In most cases, it is a combination of the two. You will be recommended the treatment based on the type of depression you have.
People with depression try and deal with it by changing their lifestyle, they will benefit from getting more exercise, reducing alcohol intake and eating healthily, focusing on things like this will take their mind off how they feel. It is said that joining a support group or reading a self-help book is worthwhile. Depression is something you can get yourself out of if you really make the effort.