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Understanding Depression

Updated: Mar 1, 2023

Symptoms Of Depression

Although peoples’ individual experience of depression may vary, the following symptoms are potential indicators of depression. If your experience reflects these symptoms you should seek further medical advice.

  • Mood – feeling sad, or gloomy, feeling irritable and unable to cope with everyday demands, unable to experience pleasure, anxiety, dreading everyday activities, experiencing despair

  • Behaviour – lack of energy and motivation, decrease in activities, social withdrawal, agitation and inability to stick at things for very long, increased use of drugs or alcohol

  • Thinking – being very self-critical, believing you are a failure, negative thoughts about the future, believing that you can’t cope , difficulty making decisions , poor concentration and memory, thoughts of self-harm

  • Physical health – loss of appetite, over-eating or food cravings, disturbed sleep , loss of interest in sexual activities, aches, pains and gastro-intestinal problems, feeling physically ill

Depression affects your physical health, your ability to think and problem solve, your relationships and your productivity.

What Causes Depression?

The rate of depression has been increasing and is now listed as number 4. on the World Health Organisation list of health issues. Depression is now understood to be multi-causal and can be traced back to biological, psychological and social factors in a person’s life.

Major factors seem to be increased pace and complexity of life, rising social expectations, technology and social media, competitiveness and increased social isolation. Depression is not a weakness. Depression is not about motivation – both highly motivated and low motivated people can develop depression.

Treating Depression

Depression is one of the most highly treatable psychological conditions. When someone is depressed family members can also be affected by the person’s irritability, isolation and other behaviour. This is another reason why it is important to seek help. If you suffer from depression it is important to remember that things can change.


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