Mental health problems are one of the world’s most common conditions, with behavioural patterns such as depression and anxiety affecting millions of people every year. Startlingly, 1 in 6 people experience a common mental health problem every week.
Many people use the words depressed and depression in everyday life, without understanding the full extent of what it really means to have a mental disorder, such as anxiety or depression. A lot of people will have ups and downs in their everyday mood, but depression strikes for weeks and even months on end. It’s a health condition that can’t be cured by ‘snapping out of it’. However, with the right diagnosis and treatment, most people with depression can make a full recovery.
Anxiety and depression are the most common mental disorders in Britain
7.8% of people meet the criteria for a diagnosis
4-10% of people in the UK will experience depression in their lifetime
One fifth of days lost at work can be attributed to mixed anxiety and depression
One in six adults have a common mental disorder
1. Overwhelming stress at work, school, or home
2. Marital or relationship problems
3. Not reaching important goals
4. Losing or changing a job; embarking on military service
5. Constant money problems
6. Family history of mood disorders
7. History of mood disorders in early reproductive years
8. Loss of a parent before the age of 10
9. Loss of social support system or the threat of such a loss
10. Ongoing psychological and social stress
22% of men and 28% of women aged over 65 are affected by depression. However, it is believed 85% of these don’t receive help from the NHS.
Is it Depression or Dementia?
|Symptoms of Depression||Symptoms of Dementa|
|Mental decline is relatively rapid||Mental decline happens slowly|
|Knows the correct time, date, and where he or she is||Confused and disorientated; becomes lost in familiar locations|
|Difficulty concentrating||Difficulty with short-term memory|
|Language and motor skills are slow, but normal||Writing, speaking, and motor skills are impaired|
|Notices or worries about memory problems||Doesn’t notice memory problems or seem to care|
Young Minds is a charity specifically dedicated to helping younger people overcome depression and other mental health conditions.
There are over 6,000 suicides in the UK every year. On average, around 78% are male and 22% female
18,220 people with mental health problems took their life between 2003 and 2013
Suicide is the most common cause of death for men under 45
1 in 15 people have made an attempt to end their life
Suicidal feelings can be different from person to person, whether it’s a thought of ending your own life, thinking of life-ending methods, or believing people would be better off without you. What’s important to remember though, is that you are not alone – there is always help and support available.
One of the most important things you can do to alleviate suicidal thoughts, is to speak to someone. This could be a friend, family member, or medical expert – such as a therapist, psychiatrist or GP. Although you may not want to confide, the earlier you do this, the more other people can support and help you recover.
If you don't feel you can keep yourself safe right now, seek immediate help.
You can also:
Depression isn’t a one size fits all condition. There are different types that will affect people in different ways – including Major Depressive Disorder, Dysthymic Disorder, and Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is often diagnosed in people with an intense and persistent low mood, or lack of pleasure in activities they’d usually enjoy. This would be every day for at least two weeks. To be diagnosed with MDD, patients would also need to exhibit at least five of the symptoms below:
Dysthymic Disorder is similar to MDD, but it’s described as less severe and could be with you for years before a diagnosis. There are often mood problems, but the patient can usually get through daily functioning.
This depression type will only be present at certain times of the year. Typically, patients struggle during the darker seasons of autumn and winter, when there are fewer sunlight hours.
Symptoms for SAD include:
Many people go through highs and lows in their daily life, but aren’t diagnosed with depression. Try the following survey and seek medical advice if the results reveal you have the symptoms for a diagnosis. Help and treatment can then be provided.
This article and PHQ-9 Questionnaire is information only – it is not intended for diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. Please seek medical advice from a qualified professional for advice on diagnosis and treatment of any medical condition.
Patient Health Questionairre (PHQ-9). Over the last 2 weeks, how often have you been bothered by any of the following problems?
|Patient Health Questionairre (PHQ-9). Over the last 2 weeks, how often have you been bothered by any of the following problems?|
Little interest or pleasure in doing things?
Feeling down, depressed, or hopeless?
Trouble falling or staying asleep, or sleeping too much?
Feeling tired or having little energy?
Poor appetite or overeating?
Feeling bad about yourself - or that you are a failure or have let yourself or your family down?
Trouble concentrating on things, such as reading the newspaper or watching television?
Moving or speaking so slowly that other people could have noticed?
Thoughts that you would be better off dead, or of hurting yourself in some way?
Depression Severity: 0-4 none, 5-9 mild, 10-14 moderate, 15-19 moderately severe, 20-27 severe.
If someone you know has a mental disorder such as depression or anxiety, it’s best to recommend they visit their GP and seek professional help. With the right diagnosis and treatment, a full recovery is possible.
For those who are suffering with depression, it can often feel as if you’re living under a dark cloud. However, there are treatment options available, including medication, lifestyle changes, and even therapy.
Treatment will depend on your personal condition and how severe the depression is.