Depression - what is that?

Everyone has periods of being down, some get lower than others, but when does ‘getting down’ lead to a full-blown depression?

It is a fact that depression actually affects one in five people. So, next time you are at a busy bus or rail station, maybe even a long queue at the supermarket, bear that statistic in mind: one in five...

But what are some of the many symptoms of depression?

At the top of most lists on this subject would be losing interest in things you hold dearest to you and would normally enjoy on a daily basis. Another is that feeling of dread when it comes to leaving your home – indeed, a reluctance to ‘see anyone’ or ‘do anything’. Then there are the staple issues of ‘feeling tired’, ‘sleeping too little – or indeed, too much’, loss of your normal appetite, losing or gaining weight in a short time span.

Then there are the ‘heavier’ matters such as ‘feeling you are worthless’, losing all manner of ‘caring’ about yourself, being self-critical and feeling guilty and of course, and very sadly, having suicidal thoughts.

It’s quite clear that if a number of the above mentioned things apply to a person, they should seek guidance from the medical profession – a visit to the local GP is the first port of call in such situations.

How can one help themselves if depression is an issue?

The very first thing is quite clearly to find someone who you can ‘off-load’ too, this person maybe someone you know well, or maybe someone you don’t know so well but feel they will prove to be a good ‘listener’. There are of course professional people you can go to, but sometimes that ‘first chat’ with a partner, a sibling, a friend – it can ease things considerably and everyone is likely to be familiar with the saying: it's good to talk.

Another ‘aid’ to battling the effects of depression is to look at life style, diet, friendship groups. What is the issue that REALLY causes the biggest single problem? Is it possible to circumnavigate that problem in your life or situation?

Sometimes, a very subtle ‘life change’ can make all the difference. A change in routine, a new hobby, an afternoon walk – indeed exercise of any kind at any time of day.

The thing to remember with any bought of depression – YOU DO NOT NEED TO FIGHT THE FIGHT ALONE.

You can find a local support group by asking your GP, or by contacting groups such as our partners at CALM.


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