View Full Version : DWD MH Factsheet #1 - Depression (Triggers)

11-08-18, 06:30 PM
At DWD we cannot and will never try to replace a qualified medical team. We are not medically trained. The information contained within this factsheet is based on literature from reputable sources (e.g. national and international health services, established national and international charities etc) along with experience gained from our own lives as they’ve been affected by mental health problems.

Depression is one of the most common mental health disorders there is. It’s basically characterised by a persistent low mood but there are often various other symptoms associated with the illness. These include:

Psychological Symptoms
feeling hopeless and helpless
low self-esteem
feeling tearful
feeling guilt-ridden
feeling irritable and intolerant of others
having no motivation or interest in things
finding it difficult to make decisions
not getting any enjoyment out of life
feeling anxious or worried
having suicidal thoughts or thoughts of harming yourself

Physical Symptoms
moving or speaking more slowly than usual
changes in appetite or weight (usually decreased, but sometimes increased)
unexplained aches and pains
lack of energy
low sex drive
changes to your menstrual cycle
disturbed sleep – for example, finding it difficult to fall asleep at night or waking up very early in the morning

Social Symptoms
not doing well at work
avoiding contact with friends and taking part in fewer social activities
neglecting your hobbies and interests
having difficulties in your home and family life

(Source: www.nhs.uk)

In its mildest form, depression makes it harder to cope with normal, everyday life and it can feel as if nothing is worthwhile. At its most severe, depression is a life threatening disease as it can lead to someone being unable to see any reason for carrying on with life and potentially that person becoming suicidal. Everybody, at some point in their life, has difficult times resulting in low mood, sadness and misery. It’s important to know this does not necessarily lead to depression but, if these feelings persist and interfere with your life, this may be a sign of depression.

Depression is NOT an illness where ‘pulling yourself together’ is an effective treatment nor is it attention seeking. If someone is diagnosed with depression, it is important to recognise that this diagnosis should be taken seriously by medical professionals, friends and family.

Depression is often described as either Mild, Moderate or Severe. There are several different ‘sub’ categories of depression (eg Post Natal Depression, Seasonal Affective Disorder, Dysthymia etc) but we will look at some of those in other factsheets. Sometimes, it seems clear what has led to someone’s depression - grief, trauma, poor physical health, other mental illness - in others, it just ‘is’. It’s believed that some people have a genetic predisposition towards depression and also that medication, drugs and alcohol can be a factor. It’s important to remember that the reasons behind depression are still not well understood so, even if it doesn’t seem a person is at risk of suffering this illness, it should not be assumed that they won’t.

There are various different treatments available. In cases of mild depression, doctors will often recommend talking therapies such as Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), psychotherapy or counselling. Anti-depressants will often be used alongside talking therapies to treat moderate to severe depression. In more severe depression, a doctor may also recommend medication to treat symptoms of psychosis, anxiety and/or sleep disorders. In severe depression where other treatments have not helped, electroconvulsive technology (ECT) may be recommended.

There are many ways to work to prevent or reduce the symptoms of depression. Self care (eg a good sleep pattern, eating healthily and exercising), managing stress and being kind to yourself (eg something as simple as sitting in a coffee shop reading a book) are important elements of any treatment. Many find meditation/mindfulness very helpful. Talking to friends and family and/or a mental health professional can also help. Peer to peer support can be invaluable such as a depression forum like www.dealingwithdepression.co.uk.

Depression can affect people in many different ways and with a number of different symptoms. With the right treatments and support, however, a good prognosis is possible.


Dealing with Depression (DWD) - Helplines etc

MIND - Understanding Depression

NHS - Clinical Depression

11-08-18, 11:01 PM
This is so helpful Paula! Thank you! :)