Depression is a mood disorder which can be described as feelings of sadness, anger or just generally feeling low. Of course, we all feel a bit low from time to time, and these feelings usually pass. But if these feelings last for longer than a few weeks and start to interfere with everyday life, it could be depression.
Symptoms of depression can vary, but include:-
Depression can also result in a person changing behaviour. They may find themselves avoiding friends and social occasions, or changes in sleep patterns. Food avoidance or eating too much. Drinking too much alcohol. Tiredness and lethargy can also be a symptom of depression.
It may be difficult to talk about or explain these feelings to anybody but cutting off from other people can have an effect on relationships, work and general health.
Why do some people get depressed?
Research hasn’t come up with one reason why some people are more prone to depression than others, rather that there are probably various causes. Biological, environmental and social factors are implicated in research but this is still and ongoing question for researchers.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) over 3 million people worldwide live with depression, and each person will have differing contributing factors.
Depression can affect people of all ages and from all walks of life, but unfortunately there is still a stigma attached to mental health issues.
It is important to recognise that just like physical health, mental health issues are not necessarily preventable.
Understanding this could lessen the stigma and result in more people getting the help they need.
Counselling can help with depression by giving a person the opportunity to explore their feelings in a safe, confidential environment, giving space to talk and sort through their emotions.
Stress is a part of life – everyday stresses like jobs, kids, money etc are probably experienced by most of us. However, when stress gets too much for us it can cause other issues that can be more serious.
When we get too stressed it can cause us to feel unwell and experience symptoms that are very real to us. Health anxiety (the expression used to be hypochondria) is when you spend lots of time worrying that you are ill, or that you are going to be ill, which can start to take over your life.
Some symptoms can include
Stress or anxiety can cause symptoms like headaches or palpitations which can be mistaken for actual illness, and reassurance from your doctor may only bring temporary relief.
Your mental health and wellbeing can very much influence your physical health, and so being careful to maintain good physical health and a healthy lifestyle can, in turn, have a positive effect on your mental health.
With the COVID-19 pandemic still in our news and thoughts, this has, understandably been a time of great stress and anxiety for many, and now the restrictions have eased, a scary place to be. It is worth remembering that you do not have to do anything that makes you worried or uncomfortable, but rather take it at your own pace. It may be worth talking to people you socialise with that you are more comfortable wearing a mask or social distancing for now until you feel more confident.
If your doctor has ruled out any physical problem then talking with a trusted person about your fears and anxieties can bring relief that you are not alone in this. Just sharing your thoughts and worries with someone can sometimes relieve some of the pressure you are feeling.