Depression is one of the major mental health issues faced by people in the UK today. Whilst severe depression may necessitate taking prescribed drugs, and even hospitalisation, there is much that individuals can do for themselves to understand the condition and take charge of it. If recognised and treated in time, some types of depression can be managed by self-help and talking to an experienced counsellor.
Many eminent researchers in the field of mental health, believe that the root cause of some kinds of depression is unexpressed anger. If an individual finds it difficult to express feelings of resentment and dissatisfaction towards others, it can be turned in on themselves and converted into low self esteem, feelings of self-loathing and depression.
There are several recognised triggers for depression. SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) is a condition that sufferers usually experience in the autumn, when the weather changes and we are faced with dwindling light. Complaints include low level depression, feelings of isolation and low energy. SAD can be helped by taking vitamin D and the herbal remedy St. John's Wort, or by investing in a Light Box that replicates UV light. You are recommended to check with your GP before using any of these products.
Post-natal depression has been widely documented, when a new mother has to deal with the uncharted territory of a demanding baby and fluctuating hormones. Isolation is often a contributing factor, if the mother has stopped working and finds herself adrift of her career and colleagues. Post-natal depression often goes unrecognised as there is still stigma attached to mothers admitting they are not coping well. Symptoms vary but can include feeling overwhelmed, low, ambivalent feelings towards the baby and thoughts of self harm.
Depression can be brought on by any kind of loss - bereavement, divorce, redundancy, menopause, retirement, or even moving to a new town or country. Acknowledgement of the loss is important though denial can play a significant part in the grieving process. For many of these situations, sharing the experience of that loss is a significant part of the healing process as it enables the person to honour the experience and move on. Getting the emotional support one needs can enable a person, in time, to create a new life for themselves, transforming the burden of loss into something more positive.
Related articles from our experts
- Understanding the different types of depression
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- "Man up" - talking about men's mental health
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