Monday, August 9, 2010

Depression Symptoms and Signs and Help

Symptoms of Depression - How to Spot the Signs and Where to Get Help

Depression is a debilitating illness experienced by many people in New Zealand. About 15% of the population are diagnosed with severe depression. 25 percent of the population will have a depressive episode at some time in their lives. Women are thought to be twice as likely to experience depression as men.

Physical and chemical changes such as menopause can bring about depression. Depleted levels of Serotonin in the brain can lead to feelings of low mood. Winter months mean less exposure to sunshine and can lead to less Vitamin D in the body.

Depression is often a grief related response to unexpected changes that occur in one's life. Loss of a relationship, a job or a loved one can all trigger depression. Other common causes of depression are bullying, health issues, family crises and family relationship difficulties. Feeling low at these times is natural and part of the healing process.

However, if the low mood persists and can not be shaken then treatment for depression may need to be sought to avoid the development of severe depression.

There are many common signs and symptoms of depression apart from the obvious low mood and sadness. If you are experiencing depression you may notice some or all of these signs pertain to you or someone you know:
  • Loss of interest in normal pleasurable activities
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Harder to make everyday decisions
  • Irritability
  • Feeling tired and without energy
  • Changes in sleep patterns - oversleeping or lack of sleep
  • Overeating or undereating
  • Loss of libido and interest in sex
  • Avoidance of others
  • Feelings of worthlessness
  • Low self esteem
  • Suicidal thoughts and thoughts about death
  • Loss of motivation
  • Severely critical of self
  • Increased levels of anxiety

If you are experiencing these depression symptoms or you know someone who is get help. Visit you local GP. Depression and anxiety are easily treated with medication. Alternative natural remedies like St John's Wort is also effective. Counselling is another good option. Many people report that a combination of both medication and therapy is helpful in coming to understand what is troubling them.

For more information call the free helpline and speak to a trained counsellor on
0800 111 757

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