Depression, what it is, and how to get help.

Depression by Tom Robson

Depression is a hard condition to live with, it’s subtle and those who never have the experience will perhaps never understand how greatly it affects the individual. Often it’s mistaken for being withdrawn, unapproachable or antagonistic, with no empathy for the person experiencing this ‘pain’.  This pain is  manifest as reduced abilities to communicate and interact at the same pace of other peers, yet what depressed people say and do, is merely a fraction of what they’re thinking.

There is no cure for depression and there is no point within recovery when you ‘know’ you’re over an episode of it. (And you never know when the next episode will begin).

There are several ideas about what causes depression. It can vary a lot between different people, and for some people a combination of different factors may cause their depression. Some find that they become depressed without any obvious reason.  You can read more on the condition over at Mind.org,uk

Every year, World Health Day is celebrated on 7th April with a distinct theme. While last year’s focus was on diabetes, this year the spotlight is on one of the most underrated mental disorders – depression. Most people don’t like talking about it, while others simply don’t treat it as a severe, debilitating condition.  A quick look at the statistics is enough to understand the appalling severity of the rising number of depression cases. Depression, when unchecked can assume a menacing character with many succumbing to it and ending their lives. Depression can affect a person’s overall well-being. People suffering from depression can experience difficulty in carrying out their day to day activities. They may feel a sudden withdrawal from activities that were once enjoyable to them. Social aloofness is also one of the characteristics.

“At worst, depression can lead to suicide, now the second leading cause of death among 15-29-year olds,” WHO. Depression in people rose by 18% between 2005 and 2015. It is also the largest cause of disability in the world with most people falling prey to it from low to middle income countries. Suicide rate are also high in low to middle income countries in young people ageing 20-25. WHO’s study depicts more suicide cases in men as compare to women all across the globe.

This World Health Day is not only dedicated to understanding depression better but embracing the wide spectrum of mental disorders as well. The day calls for developing empathy towards every sad face and a will to pierce through the veils of loneliness that might push somebody into depression.

Men living with HIV have an elevated rate of suicide, particularly in the first year after diagnosis, according to a fifteen-year study of almost 90,000 people diagnosed with HIV in England and Wales, with comparison against the general population. Sara Croxford of Public Health England presented the findings to the British HIV Association conference in Liverpool yesterday.

You can read more about how suicide accounts for 2% of deaths in people with HIV, twice the rate of the general population over at NAM.

If you’re feeling stressed, anxious, tense or depressed and find that these feelings are impacting on your relationships, work, or life generally, talk to your GP.  There are therapies and other treatments which can help.

In a mental health crisis?  See your GP who can refer you to the Mental Health Crisis Response Team. Alternatively you can call the local Richmond fellowship crisis helpline on Freephone 0808 8003302 (2pm- 1.30am)

Feeling suicidal now? – Call the Samaritans on 116 123

You can also speak Help and advice can also be found at LAMPNetwork for ChangeMINDHealth for Teens and Time to Change. There are also a range of NHS-endorsed digital applications that can help treat depression and anxiety and improve access to psychological therapies.

GP’s use a relatively simple questionnaire to monitor the severity of depression and response to treatment. It is not a screening tool for depression, however it can be used to make a tentative diagnosis of depression.  You can view this questionnaire over at Patient.info

Do you know someone who is suffering depression?  You may want to help but can’t seem to find a way in?  When a family member or friend suffers from depression, your support and encouragement can play an important role in his or her recovery. Mind.org,uk offer practical help which you can use to help you support someone in need.

 

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