March Myths & Understanding Depression
‘Depression is like living in a body that fights to survive with a mind that tries to die…’
Let’s try this month to kick those late blues and give a bit more to the understanding to what exactly is depression.
Let’s go back to basics what is your health? What does health exactly mean? WHO or World Health Organization describes it as,
‘health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.’ – WHO
Any absence of those three will indefinitely affect one’s health. So, what does this prove?
‘Mental Health is an integral part of this definition’
But what are some of the facts that surround mental health? Well let’s look a little closer,
Around 450 million people are estimated to have some form of mental health disorders, and that means at least one in four will suffer from mental illness at some point in their life. Think about that again at least someone you know will suffer at some point throughout their life maybe perhaps you are yet to suffer, remember mental health problems come in all forms, shapes and sizes it has no time and can come and hit at any given moment, anytime anywhere.
- 154 million people globally suffer from depression, (myself included.)
- 91 million have alcohol use disorders.
- 50 million have epilepsy.
- 24 million people have Alzheimer’s or other dementias.
- 25 millions have schizophrenia.
- 15 million people have drug use disorders.
- Nearly 900,000 individuals commit suicide every year and what’s more alarming is the growing No. that this is.
So, what are the causes of depression?
Depression has a number of possible causes. For some people it happens because of:
- A traumatic life event or experience such as bereavement.
- Relationship breakdowns.
- Financial difficulties.
In other situations, the person may have an inherent tendency towards depression and such genetic factors can be key in the case of bipolar disorders.
This particular mood disorder involves not just periods of depression but also periods of elation, where the persons mood is significantly higher than normal.
So what are the main types of depression?
- Some early morning waking or trouble sleeping.
- Poor concentration
- Loss of confidence
- It is important to note here that the person will not necessarily feel depressed. (facemask.)
- Moderate depression symptoms.
- Extremely fatigued.
- Marked sleep disturbances.
- Appears to others to be depressed.
- Severe depression symptoms.
In addition to the moderate symptoms, the persons judgement is impaired in a severe depression they have extremely negative or pessimistic view of their own self-worth and future prospects.
- Strong suicidal thoughts (or intent) will also be present
- Someone suffering severe depression, or a depressive episode may have delusions or false beliefs.
Involves both depressive periods and their opposites which are known as elations or manic periods, symptoms of the depressed phase and the same as those of unipolar depression described above,
- Feeling sad, anxious, or bored.
- Low energy feeling tired or fatigued.
- Under or over sleeping or waking frequently during the night.
- Poor concentration, thinking slowed down.
- Loss of interest in hobbies, family or social life.
- Low self esteem or guilt.
- Aches and pains with no physical basis, for example chest, head, tummy, associated with anxiety or stress.
- Loss is interest in living thinking about death or suicide continually.
Think this is you?
Lets talk about help because until you ask for help and realise you may need help not only will this be the greatest and strongest thing that you do. It’s then and only then that until you ask for change that change will help you.
Seeking help for depression.
If you’re feeling down or anxious after a couple of weeks talk to your GP or call the NHS for further information.
If you start to feel like you can’t cope, life is becoming very difficult or your life isn’t worth living, get help straight away these are signs that you need and must talk to someone a problem shared is a problem halved.
There is more than one treatment available for depression these include,
Talking Therapies(I myself have used these.)
Anti-Depressant Medication (again I also have used these and continue to do so…)
Self-help (what makes you tick what makes you happy? Gym? Music? Long walks?) sometimes you are your own best therapy.
Some quick tips that may help.
Be more active
Face your fears
Don’t drink too much alcohol
Don’t do too much drugs
Have a routine and try to stick to it
Talk more openly to your close friends and family they’re there for you for a reason
Remember there are successful people who have suffered with depression and mental illness.
Jim Carey has openly discussed his history of depression.
J.K Rowling after her first marriage broke down after just two years, she credits her writing her first Harry Potter book with helping her overcome depression.
Touted as one of the most influential and inspiring presidents in American History Abraham Lincoln battled depression and anxiety for years as he worked to unite a divided country.
Winston Churchill made frequent references to his depression which is called his ‘ Black Dog.’
These and all so much and many more have suffered so remember you are not alone and stronger than you will ever know.
You’ve got this and I’m always here along the ay to help you.
James Hatton – BSc(hons)
© Vicki Gelard
© Shazia Hogarth