Low Mood or Depression?
Depression is very common – it is thought that one in five people in Ireland will develop depression during their lifetime. So chances are that you may know someone who has been affected by depression.
Everyone can feel a bit ‘down’ from time to time. In many people, this unhappiness is a reaction to an upsetting event, and they will start to feel better after a few days or weeks. It is a natural, short-lived response to stressful times in life.
However, some people are unable to escape this low mood, and find it difficult to carry on with life as usual.
They may experience long-lasting feelings of sadness and hopelessness, have unexplained aches and pains, suffer from poor sleep, anxiety, and/or lack of interest and energy. If this is the case, the person may be affected by what is called ‘clinical’ depression which is a treatable condition.
Depression affects different people in different ways – not everyone has the same symptoms. You can reassure your friend that it is important to seek professional help if symptoms have been present for more than two weeks or if they have thoughts of self harm or suicide.
But treatment is available and recovery is possible. Treatment often involves a combination of different therapies such as, psychological therapies, social support, and self-help techniques. This combined approach treats the person as a whole, and marks the beginning of the journey back to wellness and a normal life.