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Depression: Let's talk

Posted by. Lisa Green
Posted on 06 April 2017

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​Every year the World Health Organisation hold World Health Day to en​courage a positive impact on people's health. This year's topic focuses on depression and opening up conversations about the condition with the slogan "Depression: Let's talk".

To recognise World Health Day we asked Leeds Trinity University's Health Adviser, Lisa Green, to tell us about depression and the importance of talking about the condition. 

Depression is an illness that affects people all over the world. It can happen to anybody, and can surface at any time. Statistics are showing that between 1990 and 2013 the number of people suffering from both depression and anxiety had increased by 50%, and that almost 10% of the world's population are affected by at least one of the conditions. At its very worst, depression can lead to suicide, and it is the second leading cause of death to impact 15 – 29 year olds.

How do you know if you are depressed?

Symptoms of depression include feeling persistently sad, uninterested in your usual activities and unable to go about your daily work. These feelings will manifest every day and will last for at least 2 weeks.

Other symptoms can include:
  • Lethargy, lack of motivation, loss of energy
  • Sleeping more or insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Very low self-esteem
  • Feeling worthless
  • Indecisiveness
  • Guilt​
  • Suicidal ideation/Self-harm
If you feel like you are suffering from these symptoms, the first step is to accept that you may have depression and seek help. Talk to someone you trust and seek professional help and support, whether that is from your local mental health services or your GP. There are also charitable mental health organisations out there that you can call, such as Mind and CALM.

It is important to remember that depression is treatable and people do recover. Treatments include talking therapies, antidepressant medication, or a combination of both. But whatever you, do not suffer alone.

What else can you do?
  • Remember that with the right support , recovery is achievable.
  • Keep in touch with the people who are important to you and are there for you – having a support network will really help.
  • Make sure you're exercising regularly! Whether that's walking, dancing, playing sport or evening going to yoga.
  • Try and re-engage with the activities that you used to enjoy. Paint, draw, sing, play an instrument - evidence shows that doing activities that you enjoy can really have a positive impact on your mental wellbeing!
  • Don't be hard on yourself. Depression is not your fault.
  • Try and stick to a regular eating and sleeping pattern.
  • Alcohol is a depressant so we would recommend that you stop drinking or cut your intake as much as possible.
  • Don't set yourself unrealistic goals, recovery can take time.
  • If you have any thoughts of suicide you must seek help straight away.
Find out more about the support available at Leeds Trinity. ​ ​