Depression Awareness Week
Tomorrow marks the start of Depression Awareness Week.
What is it?
Everyone feels sad or upset sometimes.
Feeling low is a normal response to upsetting or difficult experiences, and these feelings will usually pass.
If you are affected by depression, feelings of sadness either remain, or are so intense that they interfere with day-to-day living.
Depression affects one in five of us at some point in our lives. More than 2.9 million people in the UK are diagnosed as having depression at any one time.
Depression is a killer, with more than 70% of recorded suicides being committed by people with depression, and sadly, more than two young people commit suicide every day in the UK and Ireland.
How to recognise it?
One way to recognise depression is by looking for the following.
- Feeling: depressed, sad, anxious or bored
- Energy: tired, fatigued, everything an effort, slowed movements
- Sleep: waking too early, oversleeping or trouble getting to sleep
- Thinking: slow thinking, poor concentration, forgetful or indecisive
- Interest: loss of interest in food, work, sex and life seems dull
- Value: reduced sense of self-worth, low self-esteem or guilt
- Aches: headaches, chest or other pains without a physical reason
- Live: not wanting to live, suicidal thoughts or thinking of death
If five or more of the above FESTIVAL (acronym) symptoms are present for more than two weeks, there is a possibility that you are suffering depression.
What causes it?
How is it treated?
Over 80% of the most serious depressions can be quickly helped.
Effective psychotherapies and non-habit forming antidepressant medications allow people to recover from depression and prevent recurrences, so they can lead productive and enjoyable lives.
Who can help?
Talking to a close friend or relative about how you are feeling is an important first step. You can also talk to a teacher, the school nurse or a counsellor. If the person you are telling doesn’t seem to understand, don’t be put off – tell someone else.
You should visit your family doctor, who is used to treating people with depression. You could also phone a helpline or visit a website, because some people find it easier to send a letter, email or text.
ChildLine (0800 11 11)
Samaritans (08457 90 90 90)
Get Connected (0808 808 4994)
Sane (0845 767 8000)
Papyrus UK (Prevention Of Young Suicides) (08000 68 41 41)
Outside In Counselling: (01978 358900)
If you think that you may be depressed, then please, don't be afraid to ask for help.