Depression is a long lasting mood disorder. Doctors will not diagnose depression if the low mood has not been continuous for two weeks or more. It affects your ability to do everyday things, feel pleasure or take interest in activities. It affects about one in ten young people and can be treated. There is not one single cause of depression.
- *low mood, feeling sad, irritable or angry,
- having less energy to do certain things,
- losing interest or enjoyment in activities you used to enjoy,
- loss of concentration,
- becoming tired more easily,
- disturbed sleep and losing your appetite,
- feeling less good about yourself (loss of self-confidence), or
- feeling guilty or worthless.
There are different treatments for depression. These include talking therapies, such as cognitive behaviour therapy or mindfulness, or medication.
You can support someone with depression in a number of ways.
1) Offer them emotional support by being a good listener, reminding them that treatment is available and reassuring them. Remember that depression is an illness and people cannot “snap out of it”.
2) Encourage them to get some exercise and eat healthily. You could invite them out on walks, or help them do things they used to enjoy.
3) Keep a note of changes in their medication, or their condition. This can help the person you care for in appointments.
4) Help them to stay away from alcohol and other unhealthy things.