Understanding Depression

Learn how I beat Depression

Depression is a serious illness that millions of UK citizens suffer with every year.  It is the most common health disorder in the UK-in fact in the world.  Depression can affect people from all walks of life and all ethnic backgrounds.  It affects people of all income levels and age groups.  Depression is an equal opportunity illness and does not play favorites in who it affects.

Depression is defined as a depressive state that lasts for at least two weeks.  It is also characterized by feelings of worthlessness, guilt and fear.  People who are depressed often experience trouble sleeping, or may sleep too much.  Often a depressed person will appear agitated, upset, angry or sad.

Understanding depression, what it is and the symptoms that go along with it is very important.  There are many different types of depression.

Different Types Of Depression

? Major depression is characterized by a persistent sad mood and feelings of worthlessness and guilt.  A person who has major depression may be unable to experience feelings of joy, pleasure or happiness. This type of depression will interfere with day to day activities and affect sleeping patterns and eating habits.
? Dysthmia is a type of depression that is diagnosed if the sadness persists for longer than a year.  This feeling usually is referred to as being “down in the dumps”.  Dysthmia does not interfere with daily functions but the sad feelings does not let up.
? Bipolar disorder is a type of depression that is characterized by a low energy depression such as sadness and hopelessness and high energy mania such as irritability and explosive fits of temper.  Bipolar disorder affects approximately 2 million adults.

When you understand depression and what the signs and symptoms are you will be better able to help a friend or loved one who suffers with the illness.  Here are a few ways you can help someone who suffers with depression.

? Encourage them to take their medication and to eat healthy foods.
? Help them to stay active by offering to do things with them such as taking a walk or going for a bike ride.  Plan activities that they used to enjoy and try to get them out and dong something.
? Let them know that you care and that you are willing to help them in any way that you can.  Offer your ear to listen to their fears and concerns and your shoulder to cry on.  Give them silent support and just be there as a loving presence in their life.
? Understand and accept that this IS a disease and a person can not just snap out of it.  It takes time, patience and understanding to work through depression with a loved one.
? Offer support for your loved ones treatment schedule and offer to go along to treatments for support.

Learn how I beat Depression

3 Comments

  1. nikki
    Posted January 13, 2009 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for publishing all this info, my partner is Manic Depressive.
    Sometimes I really struggle and get frustrated, I try to be understanding and supportive but I’m not sure how I should be reacting to him. My friends and family do not understand that it is an illness and thinks that he needs to ‘snap out of it’.
    Reading your article has opened my eyes to a few things. E.g. he stopped treatment to early and has now started it again. I did not realise that the recovery was so long. I also sometimes seem to be chatting away with someone who is mostly unresponsive, he says that he doesn’t want me to stop talking, I could not understand such a one way conversation, but now I can see that he may find it comforting.
    Already I try to encourage a healthy diet and exercise, and I’m pleased to see that it does help.
    Thank you. I have looked many times for info and have not found anything near as in depth as this site.

  2. admin
    Posted January 14, 2009 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    Hi Nikki

    Yes recovery can take a long time, I can fully undersatnd that you talking comforts him :) good luck and best wishes.

  3. Brian
    Posted January 14, 2009 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    Nikki,
    Just a quick note…. I’m bi-polar and have been told that I could be on medication for the rest of my life, just like diabetics, asthmatics or people with other illnesses. So there might not actually be a ‘too early’ when it comes to stopping medication. It’s just something to be lived with.
    Best wishes,
    Brian

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