Depression


Depression is a common and serious mental health condition that negatively impacts how a person feels, the way the person thinks and also how they act. Depression creates feelings of sadness and/or a lack of interest in activities that they once enjoyed. It can also lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems and can affect how a person functions at work and at home.

Statistics on depression show that an estimated 1 in 15 adults (6.7%) are affected in any given year and 1 in 6 people (16.6%) will experience depression at some time in their life. Depression can strike at any time but on average it first appears in the late teens to mid 20s. Women are more likely to experience depression than men and some studies show that one third of women will experience a major depressive episode in their lifetime.

Physically I am here. Mentally I am far, far away…

Symptoms

  • Feeling sad or having a depressed mood
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed
  • Changes in appetite – weight loss or gain unrelated to dieting
  • Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
  • Loss of energy or increased fatigue
  • Increase in purposeless physical activity (e.g., hand-wringing or pacing) or slowed movements and speech (actions observable by others)
  • Feeling worthless or guilty
  • Difficulty thinking, concentrating or making decisions
  • Thoughts of death or taking ones life

Understanding Depression and Treatments Available


Being sad is not the same as having depression. People who have experienced the loss of a loved may often describe themselves as depressed, however, the grieving process is natural and unique to each individual and does share some of the same symptomsof depression. Both grief and depression may involve intense sadness and withdrawal from usual activities. They are also different in important ways:

  • In grief, painful feelings come in waves, often intermixed with positive memories of the deceased. In major depression, mood and/or interest (pleasure) are decreased for most of two weeks.
  • In grief, self-esteem is usually maintained. In major depression, feelings of worthlessness and self-loathing are common.
  • For some people, the death of a loved one can bring on major depression. Losing a job or being a victim of a physical assault or a major disaster can lead to depression for some people. When grief and depression co-exist, the grief is more severe and lasts longer than grief without depression. Despite some overlap between grief and depression, they are different. Distinguishing between them can help people get the help, support or treatment they need.

Depression is among the most treatable of mental disorders. Between 80 percent and 90 percent of people with depression eventually respond well to treatment. Almost all patients gain some relief from their symptoms.

Before a diagnosis or treatment, a health professional should conduct a thorough diagnostic evaluation, including an interview and possibly a physical examination. In some cases, a blood test might be done to make sure the depression is not due to a medical condition like a thyroid problem. The evaluation is to identify specific symptoms, medical and family history, cultural factors and environmental factors to arrive at a diagnosis and plan a course of action.

Emergency Contact Numbers

Open Arms Kerry 087 0907600

Pieta House Kerry(066) 7163660

The Samaritans(353) 16710071

Mental Health Ireland(01) 2841166

MABS0761072000

Belong To016706223

Alcoholics Anonymous35316710071

Mental Health Ireland018420700