February 8, 2024

Depression and how we can help

What is depression?

Depression (sometimes referred to as clinical depression, major depressive disorder, or dysthmia) is a mood disorder characterised by persistent sadness which lasts for a few weeks or months. Depression can vary in severity and whilst some individuals may only experience one episode of depression in their lifetime, others can experience multiple episodes for extended periods of time.

Although at one time or another we all may experience fluctuations in our mood, and more specifically short lived periods of low mood, depression differs from this due to its long-lasting effects. Depression can cause great suffering and can impact multiple aspects of your life. You may experience difficulties at work, school or with your personal relationships with friends and family.

There are many successful treatments available for depression and it is important to find what works best for you. Whilst experiencing depression it can be difficult to remain hopeful, however it helps to remember that by finding the right treatment and support, most people with depression can make a full recovery.

Actions that can help

  1. Don’t keep it to yourself talk to someone you can trust
  2. Exercise benefits both your body and mind
  3. Avoid alcohol or recreational drug use
  4. Stay in touch with friends or family; don’t withdraw from your social groups
  5. Try to remain hopeful or positive; as depression can get better


Depression can cause both psychological and physical symptoms which vary between individuals such as:

  • Low mood or sadness
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Feeling tearful, guilt-ridden or irritable
  • Having no or less motivation
  • Struggling to enjoy activities you would normally find enjoyable
  • Finding it difficult to make decisions
  • Feeling anxious or worried
  • Having suicidal thoughts or thoughts of harming yourself
  • Moving or speaking more slowly than usual
  • Changes in weight or appetite
  • Lack of energy
  • Loss of sex drive
  • Changes to your menstrual cycle
  • Disturbed sleep or changes in sleep pattern

How to get help

The first step in getting help with your depression is to take action towards getting some support and treatment. Seeking help is the best thing you can do. This could be as simple as talking to someone you trust, such as a family member or a friend who can help to support you in accessing help. In addition to this you can talk to your GP or a charity such as MIND who will be able to provide you with more information as to how to get help.


There are many effective treatments for depression, these could include lifestyle changes, talking therapies and medication. The most important thing to remember is that what works for you may not be the same as what works for someone else and you may need a combination of different treatments.

Talking therapies, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) are frequently used for treating depression, sometimes in conjunction with other therapies or medication. Other types of talking therapy which may be helpful include: guided self help, counselling, behavioural activation, interpersonal therapy, and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy. Different talking therapies suit different people and one type of talking therapy may be more effective for you than another so it’s important to find which works best for you.

Depression - Five facts

  1. Depression results from a complex interaction of social, psychological and biological factors
  2. More than 300000 million people globally have experienced depression
  3. There are many effective treatments for depression
  4. Depression can be a hidden illness
  5. Depression is a leading cause of disability

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