Mental health illness support network for PWWP

Mental health illness support network for People working with people

Are you depressed? What is depression?.

The word ‘depression‘ is used in many different ways. Everyone can feel sad or blue when badthingshappen. However everyday blues or sadness is not depression. People who have the blues may have a short-term depressed mood, but they can manage to cope and soon recover without treatment.

Depression refers to a wide range of mental health problems characterized by a loss of interest and enjoyment in ordinary things and experiences. Low mood and range of associated emotional, cognitive, physical and behavioral symptoms, which have lasted consistently for more than two weeks.

Around half of all people with depression in the community do not go to their GP talk about physical or somatic symptoms rather than psychological  symptoms, which makes recognition more difficult. Depression serious enough to warrant treatment affects around 9.3 percent of welsh adults at any time and is more common among  women than men.

In relation to children and young people (aged 5-18) it is thought that about 1 percent of children pre-puberty experience depression with the figure rising to 3 percent-puberty.

Depression is common but is a serious illness and can be recurrent (that is, people recover but develop another episode later). It can often occur with other mental health problems and many patients with established physical diseases and disabilities can experience  during the course of there illness.

Depression has been historically difficult to detect and recognize at a primary care level,and this is still very much the case. However recent developments have seen the emergence of guidelines for GPs and others, which gives much clearer  guidance on likely symptoms of depression, their severity and the type of treatment that might be appropriate. These guidelines outline a stepped approach to treatment depression and are based around the severity of symptoms, which indicate whether the depression is mild, moderate or severe.

Symptoms of depression:

  • Persistence sadness or low mood, and/or
  • Loss of interest or pleasure
  • fatigue or low energy

Other associated sympyoms may also be present:

  • Disturbed sleep
  • Poor concentration
  • Low self-confidence
  • Poor or increased appetite
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • agitation or slowing of movement
  • Guilt or self-blame
  • Not every person who is depressed has all these symptoms. People who more severely depressed will have more symptoms than those who are mildly depressed.

Mild depression- Five or six of the symptoms over the past two weeks. In addition, other factors may include

  • Past history of family depression:Low family or social support
  • Associated social disability

Severe depression: Seven or more of the ten symptoms over the past two weeks.

To follow Risk factors for depression


4 responses to “Are you depressed? What is depression?.

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