Pukaar Magazine

THE MOST WIDESPREAD MENTAL HEALTH CONDITION IN BRITAIN

PUKAAR MAGAZINE’S RUMNEEK GILL LOOKS AT THE SYMPTOMS, CAUSES AND CURES OF DEPRESSION.

Depression is a mental health disorder that affects approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK, according to the Mental Health Foundation. Though there is no obvious cause for this illness, it can be triggered by life-changing events, such as divorce or financial worries, or a combination of various factors affecting everyday life, which can lead to a negative frame of mind.

Depression differentiates itself from unhappiness, as the individual often experiences prolonged periods of negative emotions. “Depression is a complex condition and it varies from person to person. But if you are experiencing symptoms such as persistent low mood, sadness, guilt or low self-esteem that has lasted longer than two weeks, and which is interfering with your daily life, you should consider seeing your GP,” says Richard Colwill, a spokesman for the mental health charity SANE.

Edition 14 Pukaar Magazine-82A number of different approaches are required to help combat this illness which varies depending on the individual, as Mr. Colwill explains, “There are a number of different types of depression, including clinical depression, post-natal depression, bipolar disorder (once called manic depression) or seasonal affective disorder. Each condition may require different treatment, which is why it is vital that professional help is sought if you think you may be suffering. For mild to moderate depression, the recommended treatments include talking therapies, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), which is time-limited and focuses on present problems. For more serious depression, medications are also available.”

As well as seeking professional help, there are also some simple self-help activities that individuals can undertake when they are feeling low. SANE recommends walking, eating more healthily, connecting with friends and family and trying out various mindfulness-based therapies such as meditation techniques.

Depression not only affects the individual, but also their friends and family, who often find it difficult to know how best to help their loved one. Simply contacting these people for a quick chat or arranging a meet-up can often make a huge difference.

Mental Health Awareness Week takes place on the 11th to the 17th of May. For more information about SANE’s Black Dog campaign, which aims to reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness and encourages more people to seek help, visit www.sane.org.uk

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