What are the symptoms?
Depression can affect people in many different ways and can range from lasting feelings of unhappiness and hopelessness to feeling suicidal. These symptoms can persist for weeks, months, and even years and can include:
- Low self-esteem
- Feeling tearful
- Feeling guilty
- Being irritable and intolerant of others
- Having a lack of motivation
- Losing interest in things you used to enjoy
- Having suicidal thoughts or thoughts of harming yourself
In some cases, physical symptoms may also present themselves, such as:
- Feeling constantly tired
- Sleeping badly
- Having no appetite
- Low libido
- Aches and pains
Cause and treatment
Depression is often triggered by life-changing events such as bereavement, losing a job, or the birth of a child – but this is not always the case. Evidence shows that people with a family history of Depression are more likely to experience it themselves. However, a person can also become depressed for no obvious reason.
Current treatments for Depression involve a combination of lifestyle changes, talking therapies and medicines. Mild cases of Depression may be improved over time without much structured treatment: lifestyle changes and self-help strategies can often be effective.
In other cases, talking therapies, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), may also be beneficial. In cases of moderate to severe Depression, a combination of these measures alongside the use of anti-depressants may be required.