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We were saddened to hear of the recent death of, actor and comedian, Robin Williams. Known throughout the World as someone who brought laughter and joy to his audiences it was perhaps a little more shocking to learn of his long term battle with severe depression.
‘Depression may be described as feeling sad, blue, unhappy, miserable, or down in the dumps. Most of us feel this way at one time or another for short periods.
Clinical depression is a mood disorder in which feelings of sadness, loss, anger, or frustration interfere with everyday life for a longer period of time’ – National Institutes of Health
ANYTHING! The reasons and causes are many and varied, specific to the individual. They include life changing events like losing your job; relationship failures; childhood experiences, trauma, physical conditions, alcohol, drugs, the list goes on. Whilst the majority of us will be affected by many of these and will feel sad / angry for a few days, most will pick themselves up and move on. It’s when those initial feelings grow in intensity and don’t resolve affecting our everyday ability to function that the sadness / overwhelming loss becomes a depression and help should be sought or offered.
They can present in a variety of different ways, however they usually include the loss of joy / pleasure from activities normally enjoyed; anxiety; struggle to get out of bed; feelings of being a burden to your loved ones; avoidance of people / work / socialising; under or over eat; cry constantly; poor personal hygiene; poor timekeeping; the point is that any negative changes in a person’s usual behaviour that lasts for weeks or months help should be sought or offered
The first step is talking to someone and getting help. The sooner depression is diagnosed the better.
There are a number of websites and phone lines dedicated to helping and these can be a good first step if you feel unable to talk to friends, family, work colleagues, etc.
However, it’s best to talk to your GP as soon as you can, take someone along with you if you feel their support would be beneficial. You will be able to discuss a number of treatment options including medication and counselling but the main thing you will be made aware of is that clinical depression is a medically recognised, diagnosable, treatable illness which if left untreated, in some cases, can be fatal.
You and your loved ones are not alone – reach out the help is there! Pick up the phone, your GP and their dedicated support services are only a call away.
To learn more about how Your GP can help if you’re suffering with depression, or to discover how we can help with any other issues you may have, please call our reception team on 0131 225 5656 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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