Mental health support network for PWWP

Mental health illness support network for People working with people

Risk factors for depression: Effects and how a person may appear?.

Depression has no single cause and often involves the interaction of many biological psychological and socialfactor.

People can become depressed when something very distressing has happened to them and they can not do anything to control the situation.

Examples include:

  • Break up of a relationship or living in conflict:
  • Having a baby (10-15  percent of women develop depression after childbirth):
  • Loss of a job and difficulty in finding a new one:
  • Having a accident which results in long term disability:
  • Being a victim of crime:
  • Caring full time for someone with a long term illness: (just like mental health)
  • Unresolved bereavement, particularly in child hood
  • Children and young people in care. or who have refugees asylum seekers or homeless:

Depression may also result from:

Some people will develop depression in distressing situation, whereas others in the same situation will not. Those most prone to develop depression are:

  • People who have history of depression:
  • People with less emotional resilience:
  • People who have had a difficult childhood (for example physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, over strictness):
  • People who have experience harassment, bullying, discrimination or oppression in the form of sexism, ageism, homophobia and others:
  • Women:

Effects of depression:

Depression may affect emotions, thinking, behavior and physical well-being. Depression can impact on individuals different ways. Some examples are listed below:

Effects on emotion: Sadness, anxiety, guilt, anger, mood swings, lack of emotional responsiveness, helplessness, hopelessness s.

Effects on thinking:  Frequent self-critism, self-blame, worry, pessimism. impaired memory and concentration, difficulty making decisions, confusion, a tendency to believe others see them in a negative light, thoughts of death and suicide.

Effects on behavior: Crying spells, withdrawal from others, neglect of responsibility, loss of interst in personal appearance, loss of motivation.

Physical effects: Chronic fatigue, lack of energy, sleeping to much or to little, overeating or loss of appetite, constipation, weight loss or gain, irregular menstrual cycle, loss off sexual desire, unexplained aches and pains.

Cross-cultural variation: People from different cultural back rounds may express the signs and symptoms of depression through the expression of feeling isolation. shame and/or guilt or in physical term.

Summary of how a person with depression may appear:

Physical appearance:

  • Look of depression and anxious:
  • Be slow in moving and thinking:
  • Speaking a slow and monotonous way:
  • Have a change i physical appearance:
  • Be irritable and/or easily moved to tears

:In severe depression, the person often describes being emotionally blunted and ‘beyond tears’. There may be lackof attention to physical appearance and personal hygiene. While depressed people will often be slow in moving and thinking, they may also become agitated from time to time.

Attitude and thinking:

People with depression commonly have negative view of them selfs, the world and the future.There thoughts often follow themes of hopelessness and helplessness. They may say things such as:

  • ‘I m a failure’
  • ‘I have let everyone down’
  • ‘It’s all my fault’
  • ‘Nothing good ever happens to me’
  • ‘I’m worthless’
  •  ‘No one loves me’
  • ‘I am alone’
  • ‘Live is not worth living’
  • There is nothing good out there’
  • ‘Things will always be bad

Chronic depression:

This term usually applied to people who experience symptoms of depression for at least two years:

Bipolar disorder (also known as manic depression)

The term is usually applied to people who will experience depression at some point in there lives, but other points of their live their mood and activity levels can become elevated and sometimes energetic. They can swing from depression and decreased energy to mood elevation and heightened energy,in cycles.

Bipolar is much less common than other forms of depression.

Depression and psychosis:

Sometimes depression can be so intense that it causes symptoms of psychosis .

Alcohol, illegal drugs and depression:

People with depression use alcohol and/or e legal drugs to self-medicate, very often they are not aware of the potential problems, this may cause some risk factors including:

  • The misuse of drugs and/or alcohol by people with depression is a major risk factor of suicide:
  • Drug and/or alcohol can react badly with some prescribed drug treatment and can lead to adverse side affects:
  • Some illegal drugs can be aggravate mental health problems:

Conversely people with alcohol and drug problems can develop depression that requires treatment.

Next page is on first aid depression.


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