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Are you suffering from depression?

Main image 20 April, 2016

This week is Depression Awareness Week, and with depression being a widely known illness yet still misunderstood and highly stigmatized in society (as are a lot of mental health issues) we thought we’d take this opportunity to discuss it in a more in-depth way.

Depression will affect 1 in 10 people at some point, and it affects men and women at every age and can happen to anyone. Some people still think that depression isn’t a genuine health condition and that people suffering with it can just “snap out of it” when they want to. This isn’t the case.

What is depression?

Depression is a mental disorder that causes people to experience a myriad of unpleasant things such as (but not limited to); depressed mood, loss of interest in things they once enjoyed, low self-esteem, loss of sleep, low energy, loss of appetite or comfort eating and a lack of concentration for prolonged periods of time.

Depression is different from feeling down or sad on occasion – everybody experiences unhappiness at some time or another, and it usually has a specific cause and is short-lived. A person suffering with depression with feel extreme feelings of hopelessness, anxiety, helplessness and general negativity towards things in life.

Living with depression is difficult not only for those suffering with it, but for their loved ones and others around them such as family, friends and co-workers. If you or someone you love experiences 4 or more of these symptoms for most of the day every day for a prolonged period of time, you should seek help:

  • Tiredness or a loss of energy
  • Low mood
  • Low self-esteem
  • Low concentration
  • Loss of interest in things that were once enjoyable
  • Anxiety
  • Avoiding human contact
  • Feeling helpless or hopeless
  • Sleep disruptions
  • Difficulty coping with everyday tasks and life (work, school, parenting)
  • Loss of appetite or a sudden surge in appetite
  • Loss of sex drive
  • Suicidal thoughts and/or self-harm

Sometimes there is a clear reason for depression (bereavement, loss of a job), but sometimes there is no identifying original cause, but talking through things can help immensely and is an important first step to recovery.

If you want to find out more about dealing with depression, either for yourself or a loved one, our GP’s are available for short notice appointments and counselling sessions. To book an appointment you can use our online booking form or email us at reception@your.gp or you can call us on 0131 225 5656.


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