Are you somebody who is dealing with stress or depression? Does it effect your day to day life? Here is some helpful information you may be interested in.
What is Depression?
The majority of people have ups and downs. Sometimes you can feel a little low. This may be for many reasons, for example: you failed an exam or experienced a number of set backs. Sometimes you can feel very low: overcoming the loss of someone, or experiencing a relationship disintegrating.
A Long lasting Low Mood
People may state that they feel depressed, this however does not mean they are suffering from depression. Depression is a long lasting low mood that will affect your day to day life. It will stop you feeling any pleasure and you will not be interested in any activities such as socialising and/or attending an event or even eating.
Depression Affects Many People
Depression is noticed and experienced worldwide. It is a common illness that affects around 1 in 10 of us. It is possible for anyone to suffer with depression however, not everyone will. There are treatments available for depression, and we will talk about those later on.Depression is not something that you can ‘snap-out of,’ it is also not a sign of weakness. It is also something that does not last forever. It is experiencing feelings of severe despondency and dejection.Symptom of depression include:
- A depressed mood during the majority of the day, especially mornings
- Fatigue or loss of energy almost everyday
- Feelings of worthlessness and guilt most days
- Impaired concentration, indecisiveness
- Insomnia or hypersomnia (excessive sleeping) most days
- Recurring thoughts of death or suicide (not just fearing death)
- A sense of restlessness or agitation
- Significant weight loss or gain.
- Persistent aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment
- Inability to get out of bed
- Fear or dread
- Inability to eat or stay on top of personal hygiene
- Feeling extremely stuck and paralysed.
Who Does It Effect?Depression can effect anyone – any age, any gender, any ethnicity at any time. It does not only affect the person suffering with the mental illness, it also effects family, friends and others who care about the person suffering. They feel they want to help and it may also upset them that they have to bear witness to such low states. It is said that women are twice as more likely to be affected by depression compared to men. Children, young people and the elderly can also be diagnosed with depression. It is also said that people aged in their mid-thirties are at the average age where depression develops. It then increases as the person gets older.
- The NHS estimates that 4% of children aged between 5-16 years old have depression.
- Between 2003-2013 it was recorded that 18,220 people with a mental health problem took their own life in the UK alone. – ‘Mental Health Foundation’
- Major depression is thought to be the second leading cause of disability worldwide and a major contributor to ischemic heart disease. – ‘Mental Health Foundation’
- Around one in ten people are diagnosed with depression in their lifetime – ‘Rethink Mental Illness’
- Around six million people are affected by late life depression, only 10% however receive treatment.
- Up to 80% of those treated for depression show an improvement in their symptoms generally within four to six weeks of beginning medication, psychotherapy, attending support groups or a combination of these treatments. (National Institute of Health 1998)
- Untreated depression is the number one risk for suicide among youth. Suicide is the third leading cause of death in 15 to 24 year olds and the fourth leading cause of death in 10 to 14 year olds. Young males age 15 to 24 are at highest risk for suicide, with a ratio of males to females at 7:1. (American Association of Suicidology, 1996)
Depression often occurs with other illness’ & medical conditions.
- Cancer: 25% of cancer patients experience depression. (National Institute of Mental Health, 2002)
- Strokes: 10-27% of post-stroke patients experience depression. (National Institute of Mental Health, 2002)
- Heart attacks: 1 in 3 heart attack survivors experience depression. (National Institute of Mental Health, 2002)
- HIV: 1 in 3 HIV patients may experience depression. (National Institute of Mental Health, 2002)
- Parkinson's Disease: 50% of Parkinson's disease patients may experience depression. (National Institute of Mental Health, 2002)
- Eating disorders: 50-75% of eating disorder patients (anorexia and bulimia) experience depression. (National Institute of Mental Health, 1999)
- Substance use: 27% of individuals with substance abuse disorders (both alcohol and other substances) experience depression. (National Institute of Mental Health, 1999)
- Diabetes: 8.5-27% of persons with diabetes experience depression. (Rosen and Amador, 1996)
Examples of People with Depression“Yes, she is smiling but don’t let that fool you, look into her eyes, she’s breaking inside”- Anonymous. “There are wounds that never show on the body that are deeper and more hurtful than anything that bleeds.” ― Laurell K. Hamilton, Mistral's Kiss “That's the thing about depression: a human being can survive almost anything, as long as she sees the end in sight. But depression is so insidious, and it compounds daily, that it's impossible to ever see the end.” ― Elizabeth Wurtzel, Prozac Nation
How Can Depression be Treated?The AoC can help you if you are suffering from depression. We provide our clients with affordable, high-quality, evidence based expertise in the form of either personal, one-to-one, couple, family or group therapy and counselling.We offer a range of counselling and therapy styles to suit you - from the traditional talking therapies including integrative counselling, and psychotherapy to CBT to creative arts therapies - including art therapy, dramatherapy and play therapy.
” It didn’t seem enough to only thank you in person for allowing me to sit in and observe your dramatherapy group, I wanted to thank you in writing also, as I really believe your drama group session is such a brilliant experience. I personally experienced the light go on within me as to what person centred care is really about. I sincerely hope you will invite me to future dramatherapy sessions so I can observe and learn more.”- J. Johnson. 2013.
Other TreatmentsThe first step to getting treatment is to see your GP. If your GP thinks you have depression, they will talk to you about the treatments they can offer.
Talking therapiesThe AoC provides a range of traditional talking therapies including integrative counselling, CBT and psychotherapy.According to the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE), cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is one of the most effective therapies for depression.
- Psychodynamic therapy
- Problem-solving therapy
- Interpersonal therapy
- Behaviour activation
- Mindfulness based therapy
- Interpersonal therapy
Top Health Tips
- Stay in touch – Don’t withdraw from life. Socialising can greatly improve your mood. Keeping in touch with family and friends means you have someone to talk to or be with.
- Be more active – Take up some sort of exercise, whether it be walking, taking part in a dance class or sports activity. There is evidence that exercise can lift your mood. If you haven’t exercised for a while, start slowly with a simple 15-minute walk.
- Face your fears – Don’t avoid the things you find difficult. When people feel low they often avoid talking to people. It may cause you to lose confidence going out.
- Don’t drink too much alcohol – For some, alcohol can be a big problem. You may drink more when you are low, hiding emotions as a coping mechanism. Alcohol will not help solve your problems and could lead to you becoming more depressed.
- Eat a healthy diet – Some people do not like eating when they feel depressed and risk becoming underweight. Others find comfort in food and begin to start gaining weight. Antidepressants may also affect your appetite. It is important to have a balanced diet.
- Have a routine – When depressed, people can get into poor sleeping patterns, staying up later than normal or sleeping throughout the day. Try to get up and sleep at your normal times. Without a routine you will see an affect on your judgement to care for yourself. You may stop cooking regular meals and skip them instead.