What is Depression?

 

Do you have long lastings of unhappiness and hopelessness? Have you lost your sense of interest in the things you used to enjoy? Do you feel empty and lacking purpose? Are you often teary? Are you hopeless and despairing? Are you suffering from insomnia, tiredness, lack of appetite or sex drive? Are you avoiding the events or activities you usually enjoy? Do you have any physical pains and aches without a cause? Those are all symptoms of depression.

Depression is a low mood that lasts for a long time and affects your everyday life. Everyone has good days and bad days, but when you are depressed you persistently feel sad for weeks or months and not just the odd day off.

A medical diagnosis will tell you if you have mild, moderate or severe depression.

Image by Anh Nguyen

There are several reasons for depression and it varies from people to people. Sometimes there is a trigger, life-changing events such as a change or loss of job, bereavement, birth, breakup of a relationship, etc. People with a history of depression are more prone to experience it themselves. Adverse or difficult childhood experiences can make you more vulnerable to depression later in life. If you have other mental health problems (anxiety, PTSD, eating disorders) and/or physical health problems (chronic illness, life threatening illness), it is common to develop depression.

Treatment for depression can involve a combination of lifestyle changes (diet, sleep, exercise), talking therapies and medications (to be discussed with your GP). Counselling can really help with depression, as "opening up" and talking about your feelings and emotions can lift the weight off your shoulders and give you more clarity and directions in your life.