Understanding depression

Depression is one of Britain’s most common mental health issues, alongside anxiety and stress. The word ‘depression’ itself has become commonplace in our society and can be used incorrectly, perpetuating myths about the condition.

Eight facts about depression

Here we explore depression and how it can affect you.

Clinical depression is a condition

Feeling low every now and then and being clinically depressed are very different things. Depression is a mental health condition that has clearly identifiable symptoms. Unlike feeling ‘blue’ or ‘low’, depression often requires professional support to overcome.

Depression can descend quickly

How depression progresses will depend from person to person. For some it is a gradual experience. For others however, it can get worse very quickly. Some describe it as having a trapdoor opening suddenly beneath you, catching you off-guard. This is why it is especially important to reach out for help as soon as you begin to experience symptoms.

Depression can have physical symptoms

As well as the obvious emotional symptoms, many people with depression will have physical symptoms too. These may include insomnia, heart palpitations, headaches or fatigue.

Depression causes are often complex

There is rarely one single cause of depression. For many people, it comes alongside a traumatic life event such as divorce, bereavement or childbirth, for others it is a culmination of circumstances. There are theories that genetics have a part to play and that certain personality types are more likely to suffer from depression.

Medication can take six weeks (or more) to work

The nature of many antidepressant medication means it can take six weeks or more to start working. If you have been prescribed medication, it’s important to keep taking them, even if they feel as if they aren’t working initially. If after six weeks or so you are still concerned about your medication, speak to your doctor.

Depression is no one’s fault

Blaming yourself or anyone else for your depression won’t make things better. The truth is, depression is no one’s fault. It is nothing to be ashamed of and there is no one to blame for it.

Depression can be overcome

With the right treatment and support, you can recover from depression. There are various treatment options you can try, including self help, cognitive behavioural therapy and group therapy.

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Written by Kat Nicholls
Kat is a Content Producer for Memiah and writer for Counselling Directory and Happiful magazine.
Written by Kat Nicholls
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