A FEW FACTS ABOUT DEPRESSION?
Anyone can suffer from depression.
It is not a condition exclusive to certain types of people and it is fairly realistic to expect that most of us will suffer from depression at some time in our lives.
The majority of people experiencing a period of depression never seek help, even though they would probably respond to treatment.
Treating depression is especially important because it not only affects you, it can affect those around you too.
Some people with depression mistakenly believe that how they are feeling will never change.
Depression is a treatable illness.
WHO IS LIKELY TO GET DEPRESSION?
Women are twice as likely to become depressed as men. This could well be due to hormonal changes brought on by puberty, menstruation, menopause, and pregnancy. There are, of course many more reasons why a woman could suffer from depression but it is worth remembering that more women than men ask for help when they are experiencing related symptoms.
Many men do experience the symptoms linked with depression but they are less likely to seek help. They frequently mask these symptoms with alcohol or drug abuse.
Suicide is an especially serious risk for men with depression, who are four times more likely than women to kill themselves.
The elderly are a frequently ignored group of people, especially when it comes to depression. They often experience the typical symptoms of depression, especially after losing a spouse and have to adjust to living alone. They may also become physically ill and are unable to be as active as they once were. These changes often contribute towards a period of depression and family members may think that these symptoms are the normal results of aging.
WHAT IS THE BEST TREATMENT FOR DEPRESSION?
There isn’t any magic cure for depression and different treatments affect different people in different ways.
The first thing to do if you suspect you may have depression is to visit your G.P. Your doctor can help you learn to manage depression that may well involve taking anti depressant medication for a while. You may have to try a few different medications to find the one that works best for you. There has been recent speculation in the press (The Daily Telegraph 27/2/08) that anti depressant tablets do not work, if you are worried about this possibility discuss it with your doctor who may explain things in more detail.
Counselling is very helpful for those trying to understand and cope with depression.
A regular weekly appointment with a qualified therapist can help you to recognise the triggers specific to your depression. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy has been receiving a lot of publicity recently, it is being hailed as the ‘ new talking therapy’. In reality it is not that new but it can help many people to deal with their depressive episodes.
It is hard to say how many sessions you would need but it is worth remembering that change won't come overnight—but with the right treatment, you can keep depression from overshadowing your life.
This article is a very brief overview of some of the aspects of depression. I intend to look at some specific issues that can cause depression in my next article. Hopefully I have included sufficient information for you but if you would like to know more please feel free to contact me.
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- Depression - how do you recognise it? How is it caused and how to get help?
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