Depression is different from feeling down or unhappy, everyone will have moments of unhappiness from time to time.

What is Depression?

Depression is a common medical illness that affects how a person feels, thinks and acts. Those suffering from depression often have feelings of sadness, loss of interest in activities or pleasure, low self-esteem and feelings of guilt. It can lead to a variety of physical and emotional problems and decreases a person’s concentration and ability to function at work and at home.

Depression is different from feeling down or unhappy, everyone will have moments of unhappiness from time to time, however, those suffering from depression will experience more intense feelings of hopelessness, anxiety and negativity but instead of them going away, the feelings stay with them and worsen.

For those living with depression, it can put a strain on their relationships with family, partners and friends, who can struggle to understand the illness and how to help the person suffering.

Signs and symptoms of Depression

Many people fail to recognise their feelings as depression, especially if they haven’t experienced it before. if you have feel down or miserable, have lost interest in activities you once liked or experienced several of the signs in the categories below for most of the time over a prolonged period it may be an indicator that you are showing signs of depression and should seek professional help.

Depression can make you feel:

  • ‍Unhappy, disappointed or tearful
  • Overwhelmed
  • Restless
  • Frustrated & irritable
  • Guilty
  • Empty and numb
  • Lonely and unable to confide in other people
  • Unable to get pleasure from activities you once enjoyed
  • No self-confidence or self-esteem
  • Hopeless
  • Suicidal

Depression can change your behaviour:

  • ‍Alienating family and friends
  • Becoming anti-social and not going out anymore
  • Unable to focus and concentrate
  • Focusing heavily on the negatives
  • Self-harming or suicidal behaviour
  • Decrease in productivity at work and in-home life
  • Increased difficulty in getting out of bed
  • Misusing Drugs and alcohol

Physical effects of depression:

  • ‍Insomnia, issues falling asleep and oversleeping
  • Chronic Fatigue (feeling tired all the time)
  • Low sex drive
  • Becoming less physically active
  • Aches and pains with no apparent cause
  • Loss of appetite and overeating
  • Becoming sick or run down frequently

What causes depression?

There is no single known reason why people suffer from depression; however there are often contributing factors that can cause a patient to ‘spiral’ and result in depressive thoughts and feelings. These can include traumatic life events, e.g. losing someone close to you, a break-up with a partner or losing a job. Those who are self-critical or have low self-esteem can often be vulnerable, and some studies suggest depression could be hereditary and you are more likely to be affected if your relatives have been. Some people may not be able to link their depression with any of the reason above which can often make it even more difficult to understand.

Who does depression effect?

Depression is often misunderstood and underestimated, in recent times the stigma around depression has been lessened with many successful and high-profile people coming forward as sufferers and showing that depression is indiscriminate in who it affects - regardless of a person’s wealth, age or environment. 1 in 6 people will experience depression in their lifetime, with women tending to be more prone to the illness than men.

Diagnosis and treatments for depression

When visiting your doctor about depression, they may ask the following questions;

  • When your symptoms started
  • How long they've lasted
  • How severe they are
  • If depression or other mental illnesses run in your family
  • Whether you have a history of drug or alcohol abuse

A range of treatments are available for depression, but it is worth noting that each case is complex and different, the best treatment plans are developed for the individual. Treatments may include; talking therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), antidepressant medication or combination therapy where a range of treatments are used (generally the most effective option).

Severe depression treatment (resistant depression treatment)

Treatment-resistant depression (TRD) is a term used in psychiatry to describe cases where a patient has taken at least two courses of antidepressants and hasn’t had an adequate response. With TRB the course of action is not always clear, but several options are available, and the team at Brevin are experts in designing a treatment plan to help patients and families through this distressing period.

Talk to us on+44 (0)203 941 2000

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