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Issues Mental Health & Feelings Depression  
 
 

Depression


Everyone will feel down or sad at some time in their lives.  Usually we recover quite quickly from these episodes.  When your are depressed you feel persistently sad for weeks or months, rather than just a few days.  Depression is a real illness with real symptoms, which can include physical symptoms as follows:

  • Lasting feelings of sadness and hopelessness
  • Feelings of worthlessness, or excessive or inappropriate guilt.
  • Loss of interest in activities usually enjoyed
  • Feeling tearful
  • Disturbed sleep e.g. sleeping too much or not being able to get to sleep
  • Change of appetite e.g. not eating properly and losing weight or comfort eating and putting on weight
  • Poor concentration
  • Agitation
  • Moving slowly
  • Recurrent thoughts of death.
  • Headaches, chest pains or palpitations

Bipolar disorder is also known as manic depression and is characterised by extreme mood swings. These can range from extreme highs (mania) to extreme lows (depression). The manic phase of bipolar disorder may include: feeling very happy, talking very quickly, feeling full of energy, being easily distracted, being delusional etc

Depression and South Asian / Muslim Women

Various studies show that British South Asian women have a high prevalence of depression.  This is often a result of a relative lack of power and control over their lives. This sense of helplessness or powerlessness can then lead to depression. For more details, see the section on Harming Yourself.  Asian women therefore need culturally sensitive social interventions and better access to help. 

Getting Help
Living with depression can be difficult and seriously affect relationships and employment. There is also a danger that some people turn to alcohol or illegal drugs and Some think of suicide. Many people delay in seeking help.  It is important to ask for help as soon as possible. Treatments include talking psychological (or talking / counseling) treatments and antidepressant medicines.
 
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