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Depression

Updated: Aug 7, 2023

What is it?

Many people mix up depression with feelings of sadness. However depression is much more than that it is described as being persistently sad for weeks or months rather than a few days. Depression affects everyone in different ways; depression can have physical, emotional and behavioral effects. The cause of depression can be due to life changing events or from having a family history of it or even can be caused from no obvious reason. It is a very person specific illness. Depression can happen once or a person can have multiple episodes.


Symptoms


During episodes of depression, symptoms can include: -


Feelings of sadness, emptiness or hopelessness

Outburst of anger and feeling irritable

Having trouble sleeping such as insomnia and also a lack of energy with even the smallest of tasks

Loss of interest or pleasure in most or all normal activities, such as sex, hobbies or sports Reduced appetite and weight loss or increased cravings for food and weight gain

Anxiety

Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fixating on past failures or self-blame

Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions and remembering things

Frequent or recurrent thoughts of death, suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts or suicide

Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches.


Treatment


It really depends on the person but a mixture of antidepressants and counselling has been seen to be the best treatment for all types of depression. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) tends to work the best for most people. CBT helps you recognise your own thoughts and behaviours and usually consists of a 10-12 week one to one program!


Statistics of depression


Depression is one of the most prevalent mental health illnesses in the UK, here are some statistics to help raise awareness!


Depression affects 1 in 6 people in the UK and approximately 280 million people suffer with it in the world. Depression is responsible for 109 million lost working days every year in England, at a cost of £9 billion to the economy


The pandemic caused an influx in Depression; Around 1 in 5 (21%) adults experienced some form of depression in early 2021 (27th January to 7th March); this is an increase since November 2020 (19%) and more than double that observed before the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic (10%) [4] Women are twice as likely to have depression however men are less likely to get help for it (9%) compared to women (15%).


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