Most people will experience many of the symptoms of depression for example having a low mood or low self-esteem however depression is different and such symptoms are experienced persistently and affect your everyday life.
How common is it?
Depression is the most common mental health disorder worldwide and in 2014 19.7% of people in the UK aged 16 and over showed symptoms of anxiety or depression.
What does it feel like?
Depression has a variety of symptoms that can affect how you feel and behave.
Examples of feelings:
- Life isn’t worth living
- Low mood
- Suicidal thoughts
- Low self-esteem
- Feeling guilty
Examples of physical symptoms:
- lack of energy
- change in appetite
- low sex drive
- Change in your menstrual cycle
- Aches and pain
Examples of behavioural symptoms:
- Ignoring your usual hobbies and interests
- Avoiding social events
- Self-harming or suicidal behaviour
- Isolating yourself
What can cause depression?
Sometimes it may be obvious to you why you have developed depression and other sometimes there may not be an obvious reason or it could be a combination of events. Here are a few examples stated by the NHS that could trigger depression:
- Stressful events- this could include relationship breakup, divorce, loss of a job, bereavement
- Genetics- this could if you have a family history of depression you may be more likely to develop it
- Personality- certain personality traits may make you more vulnerable to develop depression i.e. low self esteem
- Alcohol and drugs- drinking alcohol or taking drugs excessively can led to you being more vulnerable to develop depression
- Illness- for example if you have a longstanding or life threatening illness
How can I help myself?
There are a few techniques or things you can do that may help you (recommended by Mind):
- Looking after yourself though exercise, getting enough sleep and eating well
- Avoiding drugs and alcohol
- Work out what makes you happy and be kind to your self
- Keep a mood diary- this could help identify what could be making your mood worse
- Contact a helpline- if you need someone to talk to there are helplines you can contact for support
What can we do to help?
At Heswall Hills Counselling Centre we have therapists trained in cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). CBT involves helping to understand your thoughts and behaviour and how you can challenge your negative thoughts and feelings. The NHS and the national institute for health and care excellence (NICE) recommend CBT as one of the treatments for depression, if you would like support get in touch.