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Who suffers from depression?


  • About 15% of people will have a bout of severe depression at some point in their lives although many people don’t get help, or are not formally diagnosed with the condition.

  • Women are twice as likely to suffer from depression as men.

  • Men are far more likely to commit suicide possibly because they are less likely to seek help for depression.

  • It affects people of any age, including children. Studies have shown that 2% of teenagers in the UK are affected by depression.

  • If there is a family history of depression you are more likely to experience depression themselves.






  • continuous low mood or sadness,

  • feelings of hopelessness and helplessness,

  • low self-esteem,

  • tearfulness,

  • feelings of guilt,

  • feeling irritable and intolerant of others,

  • lack of motivation and little interest in things,

  • difficulty making decisions,

  • lack of enjoyment,

  • suicidal thoughts or thoughts of harming someone else,

  • feeling anxious or worried, and

  • reduced sex drive.




  • slowed movement or speech,

  • change in appetite or weight (usually decreased, but sometimes increased),

  • constipation,

  • unexplained aches and pains,

  • lack of energy or lack of interest in sex,

  • changes to the menstrual cycle, and

  • disturbed sleep patterns (for example, problems going to sleep or waking in the early hours of the morning).




  • not performing well at work,

  • taking part in fewer social activities and avoiding contact with friends,

  • reduced hobbies and interests, and

  • difficulties in home and family life. CAUSES

  • Trauma

  • Chemical changes in the brain (could be inherited)

  • Lack of social activity/interaction

  • Alcohol

  • Drugs

  • Medication




  • Forms of psychotherapy including hypnotherapy, counselling, CBT, Self Help Groups, Self Help Books/audio

  • Medication as advised by your GP




  • increase the amount of exercise that you do - this can trigger the release of the brain chemical serotonin, which boosts your mood,

  • learn how to relax using relaxation exercises and tapes, practice yoga, meditation or have a massage to help relieve tension and anxiety

  • discuss your feelings and concerns – seek help, it can help you to feel less isolated.

  • gradually try to increase the activities that you enjoy,

  • avoid smoking, illegal drugs and alcohol - these may seem to make you feel better in the short term, but can make you feel worse in the long term,

  • use a problem-solving approach to deal with stress and worry,

  • try to identify negative thoughts and change them to positive thoughts, DIET Alcohol, caffeine, sugar, chocolate, cakes, biscuits, cheese and bread are the most common types of foods that cause low moods. Sugar is a major cause of altering mood because when you eat something sugary, your blood sugar level rises sharply, which is followed about an hour or so later by a 'sugar low', as the amount of sugar in your blood decreases. This has a negative effect on your mood and energy level, leading to poor concentration, anxiety, irritability, aggression, tiredness and depression.

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