Depression affects many people – about 1 in 10 at some point in there lives, though some estimates have put this are high as 1 in 4. It is more than simply feeling unhappy or fed up for a few days. Without support depression can last for weeks, months or even years.
Some people think depression is trivial and not a genuine health condition. They’re wrong – it is a real illness with real symptoms. Depression isn’t a sign of weakness or something you can “snap out of” by “pulling yourself together”.
Depression can be reactive, in response to some life event, or it can just occur for no obvious reason.
People are affected in different ways by depression and it can cause a wide variety of symptoms.
These range from lasting feelings of unhappiness and hopelessness, to losing interest in the things you used to enjoy and feeling very tearful. Many people with depression also have symptoms of anxiety.
There can be physical symptoms too, such as feeling constantly tired, poor quality sleep, having no appetite or reduced sex drive, and various aches and pains.
The symptoms of depression range from mild to severe. At its mildest, you may simply feel persistently low in spirit, while severe depression can make you feel suicidal; that life is no longer worth living.
Most people experience feelings of stress, unhappiness or anxiety during difficult times. A low mood may improve after a short period of time, rather than being a sign of depression. Read more about low mood and depression.
If you’ve been feeling low for more than a few days, take this short test to find out if you might be depressed.
If you believe you might be suicidal then you should see your GP as soon as possible or call NHS 24 on 111.
I work with my clients using Cognitive Behaviour Therapy to reduce their depression and help them cope with the physical effects. Typically this needs between 4 and 8 sessions.
Initial consultations are free and carry no obligation. Please contact me today.