“Mental pain is less dramatic than physical pain, but it is more common and also more hard to bear. The frequent attempt to conceal mental pain increases the burden: it is easier to say “My tooth is aching” than to say “My heart is broken.” ”
— ― C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain
How to recognise Depression?
Life throws us many challenges and with this, we experience the normal ups and downs. This means that everyone feels sad or has what is known as “the blues” from time to time. When your feelings turn into emptiness and despair and don’t leave you, it might be time to seek help. Depression can affect the things you use to enjoy and can affect how you function in everyday life. Just getting through each day may be difficult and feel overwhelming. Understanding depression can be the first step in trying to overcome this problem.
Depression: What is it?
Depression is a mental health condition with affects thinking, energy, feelings and behaviour. It can vary from mild to sever and can prove disabling in some cases, impacting on the individuals family and work life. It is possible to minimise the impact of depression by accessing information and support, and finding ways to manage the condition.
What should I look for?
Depression has eight main symptoms, and the advice is to speak to a GP or mental health professional if you notice five or more of these symptoms, lasting for a period of two weeks or more. The symptoms are:
Feeling: depressed, sad, anxious or bored
Energy: low energy, feeling tired or fatigued
Sleep: under or over sleeping, frequent waking during the night
Thinking: slow thinking or poor concentration
Interest: loss of interest in hobbies, family, social life or work
Value: low self-esteem
Aches: physical aches and pains with no physical basis e.g. chest/head/tummy pain associated with anxiety or stress.
Life: loss of interest in living, thinking about death, suicidal thoughts
What should I do if I think depression is a factor for me or my loved one?
The most important thing to do is speak to a doctor or mental health professional in order to get a correct diagnosis. There are a number of treatments for depression, depending on the cause and severity of symptoms ad a professional is best placed to decide which, if any treatment is appropriate.