Depression- let’s prevent another Robin Williams.
I saw this image on facebook and I thought I should bring it to your attention.
I have seen a lot of depression in my time and it can be defined as a long term state of lower mood which is sufficient to cause impairment in the health or quality of life for that person.
In medicine it’s classified as mild, moderate, severe or profound, with or without biological features, with or without psychotic features.
Now psychosis is basically where you hear voices of people who aren’t there.
Biological features — we’ll here’s a list. You wake up with a low mood which improves as the day goes on. You walk more slowly. You lose a bit of weight and you can be constipated. Your sleep habits are impaired and you lose your sex drive.
The mild, moderate or severe is a measure of your social function. Mild means you take a day off work every so often- you don’t feel like going out. Moderate means you just go out when you need to just to work to pay the bills. However you don’t generally socialize. Severe means you are housebound- you don’t go out at all. Profound means you are bed bound.
We think that depression is partly caused by a lack of serotonin, adrenaline or dopamine in the brain.
It’s more common among women for 3 reasons. Women are more likely to admit to it. There are hormonal changes in women and men are more likely to self medicate with alcohol.
The most serious complication is suicide. One in four of us at some stage of our lives will face a mental health problem. Depression can affect anyone. Even some high profile sportsman e.g Herol Bomber Graham, Frank Bruno and even former Liverpool footballer Stan Collymore. I thought his manager Brian Little was very insensitive when he said he had no idea what Collymore was depressed about, it’s a biological illness.
There are great support groups for depression. Counselling and cognitive behaviour therapy can help in depression. There are drugs called antidepressants which are very helpful under medical supervision. If you feel as if you have depression please go and see your family doctor where you will get expert help in the strictest of confidence. Exercise can have profoundly positive effects on depression too.
Please check this article called the Many faces of Depression from my online magazine and subscribe to my newsletter