"The only real voyage of discovery....consists not in seeing new landscapes, but in having new eyes' (O'Brien,1948)
What is Depression?
The word Depression is used by people to describe a number of feelings such as; sadness, frustration and tiredness. However, Depression as a clinical word is used to describe someone experiencing everyday ‘low’ moods, which are more intense, last longer than two weeks and start to impact on everyday functioning.
Depression is a mood disorder consisting of changes in mood. Those experiencing mild Depression may notice changes within their mood throughout the day (some short lived happier moments), whereas those experiencing major Depression may experience low mood persistently. Depression is described as a sense of doom and gloom and an inability to see any good in life.
Depression and thoughts
Negative thoughts play an important role in Depression. Someone experiencing depression may only be able to think about their current life as it is. Thoughts of letting people down, not achieving the things they need/want to, not having anything to look forward to and so on. This type of thinking can leave people with feelings of guilt, hopelessness, frustration and sadness, which prevents the required action for change. The cycle of Depression can be very difficult for many to break alone.
How does Depression affect someone physically?
Depression affects people in different ways. But some of the common physical symptoms of depression are;
Sleeping too much, or disturbed sleep pattern
Changes in appetite
Loss of energy and motivation
Loss of concentration in everyday tasks
Unexplained physical pain
Loss of sex drive
Moving or speaking slowly
Symptoms of Anxiety are also common with those experiencing Depression.
Depression and behaviour
The symptoms already discussed above have a huge impact on how Depression alters a person’s behaviour patterns. Because of the negative thoughts and feelings a depressed individual is experiencing, their behaviours are very likely to change in accordance with these.
Avoiding contact with family and friends
Not taking part in social activities
Loss of interest in hobbies and interests
Loss of motivation in everyday home tasks
Struggling at work
Depression can be a ‘Vicious Cycle’ that is hard to break alone. We will discuss this further in upcoming modules.