Depression is quite common. About 1 in 4 women and 1 in 10 men will experience a period of depression sometime in their lives. Depression is a wide ranging illness varying in its intensity with many different symptoms and causes.
- constant feelings of sadness, irritability, or tension
- decreased interest or pleasure in usual activities or hobbies
- loss of energy, feeling tired despite lack of activity
- a change in appetite, with significant weight loss or weight gain
- a change in sleeping patterns, such as difficulty sleeping, early morning awakening, or sleeping too much
- restlessness or feeling slowed down
- decreased ability to make decisions or concentrate
- feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness, or guilt
- thoughts of suicide or death
Depression has a number of possible causes. It is often an interaction of genetic factors, body chemistry and life events. It spans the spectrum of negative states from feeling low to severe or clinical depression.
Depression may follow some kind of loss - the death of a loved one, redundancy, divorce, illness. Grief and sadness are natural responses to such loss but depression is an illness and has major differences which can be difficult to spot.
Depression may happen from time to time for no apparent reason. Sometimes it is the symptom of a physical condition, such as hormonal changes.
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Help and Support
If a low mood has lasted for more than two weeks or is starting to interfere with your life it may be time to seek help. The earlier help is sought for depression the better.
Discuss how you are felling with your GP, or contact NHS Direct, who will be able to recommend a course of action for you. Alternatively get in touch with Options to obtain more information or to book an appointment with a counsellor here to help you or someone you who know who is suffering with Depression.