Depression is an illness that is thought to affect around 10% of men and 25% of women at some stage in their lifetime. In the medical outcomes study, depression was said to be as socially debilitating as coronary heart disease. 
What is Depression?
Contrary to popular belief depression is not something that you just ‘snap out of’ and certainly not a sign of weakness, it is a chemical imbalance in the brain causing abnormal moods and it affects the ability to cope and function properly.
Depression can range from mild to very severe, there are several different types of depression, such as;
- Clinical Depression
- Manic Depression (Bi-Polar)
- Post Natal Depression (PND)
- Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
Symptoms Of Depression
- Prolonged low mood
- Disturbance of usual sleep pattern
- Change in appetite, whether loss of appetite or over- eating
- Inability to concentrate, focus and make decisions
- Loss of interest in things you would usually enjoy
- Loss of sex drive
- Feeling constantly exhausted
- Feeling indifferent about things, a negative outlook, if an outlook at all
- Feeling anxious, irritable, worried, on edge
- Feeling worthless/hopeless
- Thoughts of self- harm or suicide
- Unusual aches and pains, such as headaches
What Causes Depression?
There are various reasons why people suffer from depression, these can include a traumatic life event, such as the death of a family member or friend, the loss of a job or a relationship break down etc. Substance abuse/misuse can also contribute to depression. A person is more likely to suffer from depression if there is a history of it in the family. However, for some people, there appears to be no clear cause for it.
There are many different treatments available for depression depending on its severity. Treatment for depression has a high rate of success.
Mild depression maybe treated with group therapy or psychotherapy such as CBT (Cognitive Based Therapy). CBT treatment focuses on changing thoughts and perspectives in order to solve psychological and personality problems.
Moderate to severe depression is likely to be treated with a combination of anti-depressants (which are not addictive) and high-intensity psychological intervention, including CBT. Sometimes treatment of moderate to severe depression may require a spell of inpatient care to ensure close monitoring of progress and medication. In the most severe cases treating depression may require ECT (Electroconvulsive Therapy)
If you are concerned that you or someone you know may require help and advice please call the Via Clinic on 01372 363939