Depression

What is it?

Depression is common - one in five people become depressed at some point in their lives. Anyone can get low at times, but someone is said to be suffering from depression when these feelings don't go away quickly or become so bad they interfere with their everyday life.

Depression is an illness that is often experienced over periods of time. People usually recover from depression, but depression can return. Periods of depression can last several months (or even longer in some instances).

How do we know it's happening?

There is not always an obvious reason for becoming depressed. There is usually more than one reason and reasons are different for different people. The reason may seem obvious - a relationship breakdown or a bereavement or even the birth of a child - but in other instances it is not clear. Either way, these feelings can become so bad that help is needed.

Often people don't realise how depressed they are, because it has developed so gradually. They may try to struggle on and cope with feelings of depression by being very busy. This can make them even more stressed and exhausted. Physical pains such as constant headaches or sleeplessness then start. Sometimes these physical symptoms can be the first sign of a depression.

The feeling of depression is deeper, longer and more unpleasant than the short episodes of unhappiness that everyone experiences occasionally.

Symptoms include:

  • Persistent sadness or low mood
  • Losing interest in life
  • Finding it harder to make decisions
  • Not coping with things that used to be manageable
  • Feeling exhausted
  • Feeling restless and agitated
  • Loss of appetite and weight
  • Difficulties getting to sleep
  • Loss of sex drive
  • Thoughts of self-harm or suicide.

What we offer

We give expert diagnostic advice and treatment usually in close collaboration with GPs. Treatments usually involve psychological therapies backed up sometimes with a course of medication for a few months.

Contact

GPs should be the first point of contact and they will ensure the best approach for an individual's particular form of depression.

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