We all feel sad at times during our lives; it is a part of being human. Depression, which is often called ‘clinical depression’, involves feeling sad (or low in mood) most of the time. This may be experienced as a feeling of numbness, hopelessness and pointlessness.
Depression can stop people enjoying things they like and can make it harder to do everyday tasks like housework and shopping. Depression can lead to people becoming isolated and withdrawn.
Changes in the body
People experiencing depression may get aches and pains that seem to have no particular cause. They may feel tired most of the time, or they might feel restless. Sleep can be affected – some people experiencing depression may find it difficult to sleep whereas others might sleep a lot. Appetite may increase or decrease, causing changes in weight.
Changes in what you do
Depression can cause people to become less active and they might stop doing things they used to do. They may not enjoy things that they used to love doing. People experiencing depression may withdraw from relationships and friendships, and struggle to get out of the house. Some people find that their sex drive is lowered.
Depression can happen for lots of reasons
It’s often linked to stressful life events such as bereavement, redundancy, poverty, divorce or bullying.
Many people say that a combination of these events led to their depression.
People with long term physical health conditions are more likely to experience depression.
Isolation and loneliness are also common causes.
Some women are especially vulnerable to depression after pregnancy. Hormonal and physical changes, and the responsibility of a new life, can lead to postnatal depression. Later in life, hormonal changes associated with menopause can lead to depression.
People are more likely to develop depression if they tend to be very self-critical, or if a close family member has also experienced depression.
Some things can make depression worse
When a person has depression, they might not want to talk to anybody about it, but this can make things worse. However, pressurising someone into talking if they don’t want to, could equally make things worse. It may be more about finding the right person at the right time to talk to.
Many people turn to alcohol or drugs as a way of coping, but these often deepen depression.
Exploring Depression: Online Resource
Our free online course explores the topic of depression, the most common mental health condition that can affect people of all ages.It also looks at living with depression and recovery, and how to find further help and support if you or someone you know needs it.
To explore this resource, and more, head over to our e-learning site where you will need to create a free account.