Depression is often brushed off as something somebody can snap out of as well as being confused with a few days of feeling down. But depression is a serious mental illness with extremely debilitating symptoms that can have effects on both the individual and their loved ones.
Depression can be hard to spot or diagnose but it is important to look out for the symptoms in yourself or a friend so you are able to seek the treatment that is needed.
Depression is a mental illness that triggers negative beliefs about oneself, their experiences and their future. It is usually caused by a major loss such as bereavement, divorce or redundancy or can occur for no obvious reason at all.
Rather than just feeling down for a few days, depression will make the sufferer feel low for weeks, months or years. Depression can take many forms and symptoms can include lasting sadness, hopelessness, lack of interest in things that were previously interesting, tearfulness and anxiety. Its severity can range from being persistently low in spirit to suicidal feelings.
Physical symptoms of depression will include the sufferer being constantly tired, sleeping badly, no appetite and no sex drive.
If you spot these symptoms in yourself or someone you know and think it may be caused by depression, it is important not to delay in getting depression help. Depression is unlikely to just ‘go away’ if you ignore it and a specialist could help identify the cause and suggest the best way to treat it.
There are many different types of depression and many different ways to treat it. This can range from counselling to medication, or a mixture of therapies.
Some people may benefit from talking through their problems in group or individual psychotherapy. This type of therapy allows people with depression to confront what may be causing their feelings and understand how to cope with it and move forward. Another increasingly common practise in treating depression is cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) – which aims to change underlying thought and behaviour patterns, altering how people feel and respond to things.
Medication is also commonly used to treat depression, with a range of treatments for different kinds of depression. Sometimes this may be an issue of trial and error when finding a medication that is right for person or if it is the right approach.
Other alternative treatments include meditation, nutritional support and music groups.
Depression is a very real illness but doesn’t have to define a person; there are various methods of treatment which are available if depression help is sought.
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