Welcome to my weekly A-Z of Mental Illness. Each week I will be writing about a mental health topic that correlates with a letter of the alphabet. I have a few people doing guest posts along the way as well, just so you don’t have to listen to me drone on every week. I hope that through this alphabet of Mental Illness I will be able to spread a bit more awareness.
D is for Depression
Beyond Blue states that 1 in 5 women and 1 in 8 men will experience Depression at some point in their life. Despite this large ratio, there is still a long way to go in the ways of stigma removal, and normalising the seeking of treatment. Depression is more than feeling sad, it is an illness that can affect a person for weeks, months and sometimes years.
The signs and symptoms can vary from person to person but the main feelings of sadness and listlessness are across the board. Other symptoms can include increase/decrease in appetite, loss of motivation, inability to feel joy for extended periods of time and an increase in sleep. A patient is generally diagnosed with Depression after experiencing these symptoms for a period of two weeks or more.
The symptoms of Depression can be alleviated through the combined use of Anti-depressant medication and therapy. Not all people who experience depression will need both kinds of treatment, however, talk therapy has been seen as a successful route to help combat the return of future depressive episodes.
Everyone, at some stage in their life experience sadness, it is human nature to experience emotions in relation to an event or your environment. Depression however is not always induced by your environment but can be caused by a range of things including family history of depression, drugs and alcohol, personality that is susceptible to Mental Illness and chronic illness. None of these things make a person weak or lazy, they are just like any physical illness that needs treatment.
If you or someone you know is showing signs of Depression please head to your GP to discuss options for treatment. For further information, head to the Beyond Blue website.