Despite the national campaigns for raising mental health awareness and encouraging people to take ‘Time to Talk’; a significant number of people are struggling with depression on a daily basis. Do you feel burdened by all your responsibilities, feel you cannot cope and find you cannot sleep at night? These are signs that you may be depressed. ‘I’m depressed’. ‘I suffer from depression.’ ‘I can’t deal with life’. ‘I’m not worth it’. ‘I can’t go on!’. Have you ever found yourself saying something on these lines? Do you know someone who says these sorts of things? Sometimes, we don’t hear these pleas for help because people feel unable to share what they are truly thinking and feeling.
Have you ever shared your feelings and found that nobody heard you? People don’t always know how to listen, to find out what is really going on for you. We are here to listen and to help you find positivity in your life again.
We all get days when we feel unhappy or ‘down’, people who experience depression find that they struggle every day to undertake daily living tasks and become isolated. Some people experiencing depression say they have lost their confidence and self-esteem. That they are embarrassed and worry about being seen as weak. We will assist you to increase your self-worth and reconnect with yourself, others and your community.
What is depression?
Depression becomes an illness when it controls your life. Depression presents as a mental health disorder classified as a “mood disorder”, which manifests as feelings of intense low mood, hopelessness, worthlessness and a marked decrease in motivation and enjoyment in activities.
It is important to differentiate between feeling depressed in mood and depression as a disorder. Everyone feels depressed in mood from time to time, but it can only be diagnosed as a disorder when it becomes chronic (every day for over two weeks) and has a noticeable impact on functionality in daily life.
The physical, emotional, and behavioural symptoms are all associated with depression, but to have a depressive disorder, you do not need to feel all. They are merely indicative of what someone with depression may be experiencing.
Signs of depression: physical symptoms
- Medically unexplainable pain or headaches
- Fatigue or lack of energy
- Lack of libido
- Menstrual cycle changes
Signs of depression: behavioural symptoms
- Social isolation
- Decreased standard of personal hygiene
- Changes to appetite
- Changes to sleeping pattern
- Self-harm Irritability
- Difficulties in decision-making
- Slow movement and speech
- Neglecting hobbies
Signs of depression: emotional symptoms
- Intense low mood
- Anxiety or worry
- Negative views of self, future and world
- Low self-esteem
- Lack of motivation
- Lack of enjoyment in previously pleasurable activities
- Feelings of guilt
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Feelings of worthlessness
- Suicidal ideation
Causes: how does depression occur?
Depression can affect anyone. There is not always an obvious reason why someone develops depression but there are certain risk factors that can increase vulnerability to developing a depressive disorder:
- Genetic component: family history of depression or other mental illness
- Alcohol and substance misuse
- Giving birth (postnatal depression)
- Low self-esteem
- Adverse childhood experiences
- Chronic stress
- Chronic illness
- Upsetting or stressful life event(s)
- Loneliness loss of role, job, status, money, relationship, etc.