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.
Well I can see I am going to enjoy your blog, great post!
I have at least one friend who suffers from depression. It’s very difficult to understand for many people. You are doing an amazing job Tegan. I’ve shared this on my Facebook page so I hope the ‘right’people read it. x
Thanks for sharing and your kind words!
I suffer from depression. I currently take Prozac for it and it quite simply has changed my life. I feel so much more in control and normal on it, it’s not even funny.
I have never had a problem with stigmatising other people who have had mental illness, even before I was diagnosed myself. But my Psychiatrist said, at least in my case my depression is caused by a Serotonin and Dopamine deficiency. He said the best way to think of it or to describe it to others is that I’m no different from someone who suffers from Diabetes.
It’s just that their Kidneys don’t function properly and my Brain doesn’t properly produce or retain the chemicals that make us all sane the way that other people’s bodies do.
I think people in general society are starting to slowly understand this, thankfully. And I am massively grateful that I live in a time where I can take a simple pill once a day and get my life back as a result.
I’ve found most people to be understanding and supportive, but I’ll tell you, that one pill a day is magic, and I could easily weather any of the misguided or misunderstanding of others should I regularly encounter people who weren’t 🙂
Also, I would echo what was said here: If you think you have a problem, you just might. Talk to your GP because for a large majority of people, the treatment options are extremely helpful and you are possibly missing out on the rest of your life if you don’t seek treatment.
I ignored my condition for the better part of 10 years, and while I never got really bad while I was untreated, I do wish I would have gotten treatment earlier because my already decent quality of life would have been even better had I been in treatment.
I’m not promising that your life will be transformed the way I and some many others have been with proper treatment, but you will never know if life would be better until you get treated. It’s as simple as that. Most mental illnesses will deteriorate and get worse over time if they are not treated. Don’t wait until things become unbearable, because chances are, you would be suffering for no good reason at all.
Best wishes folks, and Godspeed.