I’ve written a lot about my own experience of depression and how it has impacted on both my life and that of my family. But for someone who has never experienced depression, is concerned they may be depressed, or is worried about someone close, having it more clearly defined might be helpful. I’ve taken the following information from the Aware website.
There is a difference between depression with a little ‘d’ – which we all get – and depression with a big ‘D’. Depression with a little ‘d’ is a natural response to having a bad day or hearing sad news. Depression with a big ‘D’ is when your whole energy and concentration is down and you are struggling to focus. It is a mental health condition which affects a person’s thinking, energy, feelings and behaviour. It’s not just having a bad day. If you have symptoms of depression you may not want to talk about it. However, talking about how you feel to your GP or family is a positive first step in learning how to manage Depression.
What does depression look like?
Depression has eight main symptoms. If you experience five or more of these symptoms, lasting for a period of two weeks or more, you should speak to a GP or mental health professional. The symptoms of depression are:
• Feeling sad, anxious or bored
• Low energy, feeling tired or fatigued
• Under-sleeping or over-sleeping,waking frequently during the night
• Poor concentration, thinking slowed down
• Loss of interest in hobbies, family or social life
• Low self-esteem and feelings of guilt
• Aches and pains with no physical basis, e.g. chest, head or tummy pain associated with anxiety or stress
• Loss of interest in living, thinking about death, suicidal thoughts
There are a number of treatment options for depression and other types of mood disorder. The best and most appropriate treatment option depends on the individual case, the likely cause of depression and the severity of symptoms. Treatments usually come under two main headings: medication and talking therapies. In some cases, a combination of both might be the most appropriate treatment plan for that individual.