Your Mental Health - Depression
What is Depression?
Depression is a common disorder affecting at least 10% of the population directly at some stage or other in their lives. Everybody gets feelings of sadness or depression and for most these are short-lived and tolerable. We all feel down at times, that is normal. however, if the feeling is persisting for more than 2 weeks then maybe you need some support. It is possible you are suffering from depression. This common illness affects a huge number of young people.
It affects your thoughts, felings, physical health and behaviour day after day. As it is so common, extensive support services have been developed and are available for you when you need them. Using the available services is not a sign of weakness.
Depression is not caused by any one factor. Some life conditions such as extreme stress or grief may act as a trigger. Sometimes depresion can occur even when life is going well. Depression can affect anyone!
If depression goes untreated, it may become worse and there is a risk that the person may turn to alcohol and drugs to try and escape from the distressing feelings. This could increase the risk of suicide dramatically.
Signs & Symptoms of Depression
People who suffer from depression have a number of symptoms nearly every day, all day for at least two weeks. These always include five or more of the following list and at least one of the first two.
- Feeling sad, depressed
- Aggressive or negative behaviour
- Change of appetite
- Social withdrawal
- Low self-esteem
- Physical symptoms
If you have five or more of these symptoms for longer than two weeks it is likely that you have depression and should consult your GP immediately. If you think you may suffer from depression it is advisable to talk to someone as soon as possible. Talking to a trusted friend, a parent, a doctor or medical professional will be a step in the right direction towards recovery.
Remember the majority of cases can be treated successively but early intervention will increase the chances of success significantly.
Aware is a voluntary organisation formed in 1985 by a group of interested patients, relatives and mental health professionals, whose aims are to assist that section of the population whose lives are directly affected by depression.
Since its foundation, Aware has been working energetically to bring support to sufferers of depression and their families and to dispel the myths and misunderstandings of this devastating illness.
Locall 1890 303 302 (24 Hours)
HeadsUp is a mental health promotion project which aims to contribute to suicide prevention efforts by providing timely, appropriate information and support to young people. The project provides a wide range of initiatives aimed primarily at 15-24 year olds. However there are a number of secondary targets that includes community groups, fathers and workplaces. HeadsUp has an interactive website with features and fact-sheets.
Please Talk is a campaign that began in University College Dublin in February 2007 in response to the death by suicide of a student. In March 2008 it was adopted by all the Universities in the State.
It is organised to alert students at Universities in the Republic of Ireland to the varied and manifold important student services that are available in their University. The site provides information on supports on different campuses.