Depression is a serious medical illness that involves the brain. It’s more than just a feeling of being “down in the dumps”, “blue” or “sad” for a few days. If you are one of the many people in the UK who have depression, the feelings do not go away. They persist and interfere with your everyday life. Symptoms of depression can include
- Loss of interest or pleasure in activities you used to enjoy
- Change in weight
- Difficulty sleeping or oversleeping
- Energy loss
- Feelings of worthlessness
- Thoughts of death or suicide
Depression can run in families, and usually starts between the ages of 15 and 30. It is much more common in women. Women can also get postpartum depression after the birth of a baby. Some people get seasonal affective disorder (SAD) in the winter. Depression is one part of bipolar disorder.
Depression can also lead to chronic illnesses e.g. diabetes and if you have diabetes you are likely to suffer from depression. (see my Blog Diabetic Distress)
Those that suffer from depression can be helped with talking therapies e.g. CBT and in some cases will need some medication.
Anxiety and depression sometimes go hand in hand. see information on anxiety.