Many believe that those suffering from Depression are just a 'bit down' or that 'it's all in your head', some people may even deny the fact that depression is a real illness.
However, there is much more to Depression than meets the eye...
The World Health Organisation has said that if “we do not act urgently, by 2030 depression will be the leading cause of the disease burden globally.”
Depression is so common; it’s the biggest mental health illness in the UK and one of the most common illnesses in the world.
Many people don’t quite understand how serious it is - even now in the 21st century, illnesses without a face are too often overlooked, underestimated or entirely misunderstood.
It’s not a matter of simply ‘feeling down’ and you can’t just ‘snap out of it’, and it shouldn’t be confused with a bad mood, or grief, or even stress. Depression is an illness, and if it’s left untreated it can have devastating consequences.
Doctors split depression into three categories:
Mild depression - which has some impact on daily life
Moderate depression - which has a significant impact on daily life
And severe depression - which makes it almost impossible to cope with daily life. Some people may even have a lack of self-awareness, or experience psychotic symptoms such as hallucinations, delusions, or confusion and disturbed thoughts
No matter how severe it is, people with depression will feel constantly sad, and often hopeless. They tend to lose interest in activities they would normally enjoy and they’re often very tearful. It’s also common to have a reduced sex drive, loss of appetite, persistent tiredness and to have trouble sleeping. People with depression can experience symptoms of anxiety too.
How can Depression be dealt with?
It’s not unusual for depression to creep up on people. Someone may just feel low and try to cope with it on their own without saying anything - they may not realise that they’re actually unwell.
With depression, the first sign to look out for is feeling consistently low for two weeks or more - if this happens it’s best to go and talk to your GP.
Sometimes there’s a trigger for depression, such as a loss in the family, losing your job, or even having a baby can trigger postnatal depression. You’re also more likely to suffer from depression if there’s a history of it in your family; but sometimes, there’s no obvious cause.
If you’ve been diagnosed with depression, the treatment methods are actually quite similar to those for anxiety. You’ll be encouraged to try self-help remedies like lifestyle changes, taking up regular exercise and healthy eating. Joining a support group or taking part in a talking therapy can also be really helpful, especially Cognitive Behavioural Therapy; and antidepressants can be prescribed too - but it’s up to each individual to try what they think will work best for them. If this sounds familiar to you, never forget that the choice is yours.
The good news is if people with depression seek help and go down one, or a few, of these avenues, they should find something that works and over time, they can overcome the illness.
Making your workplace more aware...
Someone you know will have a mental health problem right now – a family member, your friend, your workmate. He or she just might not know how to tell you. That's why you should always check on your friends and colleagues, even if they seem fine!
Mental Health Awareness & Wellbeing Training can not only help make staff more aware of mental ill-health but it will also help those struggling with an issue to raise it, which is arguably the biggest hurdle!