Depression: Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment Explained

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Stressed - private mental health

Huffington Post Blog – 8 May 17

Depression is now the leading cause of disability worldwide.

Depression is an illness that impacts the brain. The severity of the condition varies between different people, with some people feeling persistently low in spirit and others feeling like life is no longer worth living.

Dr Monica Cain, counselling psychologist and cognitive behaviour therapist at Nightingale Hospital, shares the key signs of depression to look out for.

These include:

  • Low mood / tearfulness
  • Feeling exhausted and having less energy
  • Finding it difficult to get out of bed in the morning
  • Loss of appetite or eating too much unhealthy food
  • Sleep disruption
  • Difficulties in concentrating (for example, reading a book).

People experiencing depression may also turn down invitations to social events or make excuses not to attend, no longer enjoy activities that they previously enjoyed (ie. sex), drink more alcohol or increase ‘zoning out’ activities such as using the internet, isolate themselves and feel a need to avoid certain situations or people.

They may also have low self esteem, feel guilty or worthless, and have thoughts of self-harm or suicide.

If you experience any of these symptoms (or more than one), it’s important to speak to your GP.

“Of course, look at your life circumstances,” says Dr Cain. “There may be good reasons for feeling like this during stressful life events. But also be aware that these feelings can develop over a longer period of time and there doesn’t have to be a trigger situation.”

Treatment of depression:

Many associate the treatment of depression with antidepressants, but there are many forms of help avaialable.

For those who are worried about approaching their GP about a mental health issue, it’s worth noting that roughly one in three GP appointments have a mental health component.

Mind has launched a ‘Find The Words’ guide offering advice on how to take the first step and discuss mental health with a GP.

Read the full blog post here.

 

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