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What is Depression?

Depression is a common mental disorder. Globally, it is estimated that 5% of adults suffer from the disorder. It is characterized by persistent sadness and a lack of interest or pleasure in previously rewarding or enjoyable activities. It can also disturb sleep and appetite. Tiredness and poor concentration are common. Depression is a leading cause of disability around the world and contributes greatly to the global burden of disease. The effects of depression can be long-lasting or recurrent and can dramatically affect a person’s ability to function and live a rewarding life.

The causes of depression include complex interactions between social, psychological, and biological factors. Life events such as childhood adversity, loss and unemployment contribute to the development of depression.

Depression affects people in different ways and can cause a wide variety of symptoms. They range from lasting feelings of unhappiness and hopelessness, to losing interest in the things you used to enjoy and feeling very tearful. Many people with depression also have symptoms of anxiety.

Ways to manage depression

It is important for those suffering with depression to feel they can manage, and in time, lift themselves out of it. There are many things which can be helpful in doing this and some are provided below which we hope might be useful.

· Be aware of your feelings – understanding your emotions can be helpful when coping with depression

· Meet yourself where you are – be open, accepting, and loving toward yourself. How you feel today is not indicative of how you might feel tomorrow

· Having a support network – it’s important to have friends and family around who you can socialise with and lean on when times are tough

· Diet and Exercise – it cannot be understated how important these two are. Both have a direct impact on how we think and feel

· Be Pro-social – helping others will make us feel better and can often provide a sense of purpose and direction. Try volunteering or getting involved in local groups

· Do things you enjoy – this can be things such as hobbies or activities. Getting out in nature can help you feel a sense of oneness and achieve perspective

· Set attainable goals – have some clear direction of what you would like to achieve. This can help us gain a sense of control and a sense of accomplishment. Reward yourself appropriately

· Don’t be afraid to speak out – knowing when to seek professional support is important. If you feel overwhelmed do contact a mental health professional

If you feel you need support or would like to speak to a qualified professional regarding your wellbeing, one of our clinicians at bMindful can offer advice and guidance. Contact 0161 510 0111 or visit our website bMindful psychology – a specialist psychology service with particular expertise in children and young people

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