Depression is a common condition that can cause serous difficulty with living. Though It is common to go through periods of feeling down, things usually start feeling better after a while. Depression is more than feeling unhappy or fed up. If you are depressed this low feeling can last for weeks or even months rather than just a few days.
Depression affects people in different ways and can have different symptoms which can range from feeling tearful to having feelings of unhappiness, hopelessness and perhaps loosing interest in things you once enjoyed and loved. It can also be common to experience symptoms of anxiety with depression.
These symptoms can also be physical such as always feeling tired, having difficulty sleeping, having various aches and pains, having no appetite or sex drive.
Depression ranges on a spectrum; from feeling low, to having thoughts of self-harm or not wanting to be alive anymore and life is no longer worth living.
It is important to realise when you feel you are no longer able to pull your self out of this low mood or get yourself motivated, to able to contact someone who can provide that confidential support you might need.
Living with depression
Living with depression can be difficult and life may not feel the same as it used too. You could benefit from making certain life style changes; increasing the amount of exercise, drinking less alcohol, eating healthily, and stopping smoking. However this can potentially feel impossible to achieve on your own especially if you are struggling with low mood and a lack of motivation which are common experiences for a depressed person. If you suffer from depression you already know how painful and difficult it can be to get through life and as a result you may feel you are far from living up to your potential. This can also commonly add to feelings of depression, guilt, intolerance and difficulties.
Causes of depression
If you have a family history of depression you may be more likely to experience depression yourself. Depression can be triggered by life changing events such as a bereavement, having a baby or loosing your job. However depression can also start for no obvious reason, and is fairly common, affecting people of all ages and genders. Currently national statistics in the U.K. show 1 in 10 people have experienced depression at some point in their lives 1.
Treatments for depression
Speaking to someone about your feelings of low mood can be the first step, and a therapist can help you to understand more about what you are experiencing. The type of treatment will depend on whether you are experiencing mild, moderate or severe depression. These options can range from lifestyle changes, talking therapies, self-help, anti-depressants or combinations of different treatments tailored to your specific needs.
Each person is different and though there are common symptoms of depression these are experienced differently by each individual. It is important to have someone supportive who will take the time to understand you and your specific needs and goals.
Bipolar Disorder: People with bipolar disorder experience extreme mood swings and experience periods of depression and mania often with periods of stable mood in between.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): In this occasion it is common for the person to experience depression like symptoms during the darker winter moths but not during summer months.
Post Natal Depression: This is a form of depression that occurs after childbirth.
1. nhs.uk. (2019). Clinical depression. [online] Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/clinical-
depression/ [Accessed 12 Aug. 2019].