According to the World Health Organisation(WHO), one in four people will experience a mental health issue at some point in their lives. Unfortunately, the topic of mental health is often disregarded, and many communities, cultures and countries refuse to acknowledge the illness for what it really is.
The term ‘depression’ is known, yet not always understood. It’s not just about feeling sad, emotional and down – there’s so much more to it than that. The mental health charity MIND describes the illness as “a low mood that lasts for a long time and affects your everyday life.” Milder bouts of the disease will often leave the sufferer with extinguished spirits and diminished motivation, and at its worst, depression can cause people to give up their will to live – due to extreme feelings of loneliness and suicidal thoughts.
The NHS lists the following as psychological symptoms of depression.
an ongoing low mood or feelings of sadness
feelings of hopelessness and helplessness
feeling low in confidence and suffering with decreasing self-esteem
feeling emotional and tearful more often than usual
feelings of guilt
feeling irritable and moody towards others
a lack of motivation or interest in what you would usually enjoy
feelings of anxiety or worry
experiencing suicidal thoughts or thoughts of harming yourself
However, depression can manifest itself in other ways. The NHS also lists a number of physical symptoms to watch out for.
moving or speaking more slowly than usual
changes in appetite or weight (either decreased or increased)
unexplained aches and pains
lack of energy
changes to your menstrual cycle
disturbed sleep – for example, finding it difficult to fall asleep at night or waking up very early in the morning
If you’re concerned about your mental wellbeing, get in touch with your doctor and schedule an appointment with them.
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[Image courtesy of Dmitry Schemelev/ Unsplash]
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