What is Depression?
Depression in its simplest form is a state of low mood or unhappiness and can also be referred to as major depressive disorder, clinical depression, and sometimes simply as depression.
How to spot the symptoms of depression
There are seven main types of symptoms that lead to a diagnosis of a major depressive episode. These include:
Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” feelings (for example, feeling that life isn’t worth living or having no interest in things usually enjoyed)
Feelings of hopelessness and/or pessimism – A markedly diminished interest or sense of pleasure in all activities most people normally enjoy
Significant weight loss or gain or appetite change, when not dieting
Changes in sleep patterns (either insomnia or sleeping too much)
Feeling agitated, restless, uncomfortable, grouchy, tired, and/or irritable most of the time
Loss of energy and fatigue
Reckless behavior such as reckless driving and spending sprees.
How to get help for Depression
The first step towards getting help for depression is usually a visit to your GP [General Practitioner]. Alternatively, you can search for a Community Mental Health Team near you by visiting the NHS Choices website. If you are looking to get help online, there are plenty of support groups dedicated to depression on forums such as Reddit.
What is depression treatment?
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommends that GPs consider referring patients to psychological treatment if they have mild to moderate depression.
Helpful tips and tricks for coping with Depression
Spend time outdoors – even if it’s just a walk in the park or collecting your mail from your mailbox. Just being outside can help clear your head and provide perspective, especially after a depressive episode has left you feeling cut off from the rest of the world and detached from reality
Avoid excessively stimulating places such as shopping malls, bars, and other social venues that tend to be crowded or busy until you’re feeling better
Although we naturally look toward others when we’re struggling emotionally (such as family members) sometimes this isn’t helpful at all since talking about how depressed you feel often has the opposite effect of making you feel more isolated by drawing attention to your situation
Try to ignore the media’s approach to reporting mental health issues. Unless you have been diagnosed with a serious case of depression it is likely that your experiences will bear little resemblance to those shown in the media
Make sure you exercise and eat well – even if you don’t feel like it at first, look after yourself and create healthy habits which will help protect your mind and body from further damage
The importance of getting enough sleep, exercise, and a healthy diet when dealing with depression:
Getting enough sleep is incredibly important as lack of rest can often contribute to feelings of low mood. It is also important not to overdo things by suddenly attempting 10-mile runs or trying out for your local football team. Exercise is a crucial part of the recovery process but it’s important not to push yourself too hard and to listen to your body as overdoing things can often lead to further health problems such as burnout or muscle pain.
Eating well and trying to maintain a healthy diet (such as eating fruit and vegetables regularly) will help give your system all the nutrients it needs, which in turn may mean that you begin feeling better sooner rather than later.
Depression can happen to anyone and is a serious mental illness. Depression feels like the world weighs on your shoulders, but you don’t have to feel alone in its darkness. There are many resources available for people who need help or just want some guidance through their difficult journey with depression. It’s important that we all work together as humans to support those struggling with this disorder so they know they aren’t alone and there is always hope of feeling better. It is of prime importance to know that what is depression and how we can help the people suffering.