May 19, 2023

What is Depression?

When we think of depression, we usually think of a typical Eeyore type person. However, there are many different types of depression from ‘feeling the blues’ to severe clinical depression.

Written by

Nicole Biggs

When we think of depression, we usually think of a typical Eeyore type person. However, there are many different types of depression from ‘feeling the blues’ to severe clinical depression.

Symptoms of depression

The typical signs of depression are:

  • Low or sad mood
  • Troubles sleeping – both not being able to sleep and oversleeping.
  • Feeling constantly tired and lacking energy
  • Having frequent pessimistic or negative thoughts
  • Slow in moving and thinking.
  • Speaking in a slow and monotonous tone.
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulty thinking straight or making decisions.
  • Change in appetite – both undereating and overeating.
  • Loss of interest in things
  • Looking unkempt – lack of attention to personal appearance and hygiene
  • A feeling of apathy or numbness
  • Feeling helpless or hopelessness
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Feeling anxious, irritable and easily moved to tears
  • Wanting to hide away and not engage with other people or life.

The more symptoms the person has from the list above, usually the more severe the depression. A clinical depression is usually one that lasts for at least 2 weeks and adversely affects the person’s behaviour, emotions and thinking.

It is very important that you take action as soon as you suspect that you or someone you know may be suffering from depression. This is because it much easier to stop the depression if it is caught early. Depression can easily spiral and become worse.  This spiral can be seen below:

Negative thoughts – low mood – reduced activity – less rewarding experiences – negative thoughts

Depression is usually caused by a series of life events which someone is finding hard to deal with. It can also be caused by chemical imbalances in the brain, like the hormones after a woman has given birth.

What you can do to help

If you suspect that someone may be depressed, you should:

  1. Be honest and tell them that you notice that they are feeling down.
  2. Ask if they are OK and encourage them to talk about what is going on.
  3. Listen to them – this is very important.
  4. Gently explore how they can get some help

Getting help could be:

  • talking to friends and family,
  • talking to a manager at work,
  • seeing their GP,
  • talking to a therapist.

It is very important that the person starts to talk about what is going on for them. A good support network of friends and family, where the person feels able to express themselves openly and honestly without criticism and judgement, is the single most effective protection against depression.

For more information, or just a chat, please contact me on 07742 209312 or nicole@greenoaktherapies.co.uk

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