Did you know that anxiety and depression affects one in five adults living in the UK?
Owen Wilson, Gwyneth Paltrow and Jim Carrey are just some of the celebrities who have battled depression and it can affect anyone.
We all have periods of feeling down but having depression can make day to day life feel impossible. Basic tasks such as getting out of bed or leaving the house can take a huge amount of effort and motivation.
20 April 2015 marks the start of Depression Awareness Week and aims to raise awareness of the condition.
Depression can affect people in different ways and can lead to a variety of symptoms including:
- Loss of confidence and self-esteem
- Tiredness and lack of energy
- Persistent sadness
- Feelings of hopelessness and helplessness
- Finding it difficult to concentrate at work/college/school
Many people with the condition will also have symptoms of anxiety. It is important to talk to someone about it and get help from your GP if you think you may be depressed. With the right treatment and support, people with depression will get better.
Getting over depression could take months or even years but people can overcome it as Sara Wood, occupational health and wellbeing manager at Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, explains: “Exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy diet can play a big part in how quick people can recover from depression. Staying physically active can help lift your mood, reduce stress and anxiety and improve self-esteem. Exercising can also be a good distraction from negative thoughts and improve social interaction.
“Self-help measures such as reading a self-help book or joining a support group are also worthwhile. Talking about your condition with someone else or with a group can give you support and an insight into your own depression. Research shows that talking can help people recover from depression and cope better with stress.
“If your GP has prescribed you with medication, it is important you take it even if you start to feel better. If you stop your medication too soon, you could have a relapse of your depression.”
The Trust runs workshops to support staff who are feeling depressed. These sessions are an opportunity to discuss work-related and personal issues as well stress management.
For more information, please visit the Trust’s Live Well Work Well website at http://www.heftlivewellworkwell.co.uk/.
Depression Awareness Week takes place from 20-26 April 2015.