Depression affects thousands of people each year. Men are no more likely to suffer from depression than women but they are much less likely to see a doctor about their problems and subsequently do not often receive the treatment they need.

Symptoms of depression

There are many possible symptoms of depression, which can easily be confused with simply feeling a bit down; depression can last for long periods of time and it can go unnoticed but if you have any of the symptoms below or feel that somebody close to you does, see your GP.  Common symptoms of depression include:

  • Disturbed sleep
  • Becoming irritable and restless
  • Coming across as grumpy
  • Lack of energy
  • Lack of self-esteem
  • Lack of desire to do anything or leave the house
  • Feeling confused and emotional
  • Weight loss
  • Constipation
  • Difficulty with social relationships

Causes of depression

A number of different factors can trigger depression and they may be physical, psychological and social reasons. Common causes of depression include:

  • Financial stresses
  • Relationship breakdown
  • Lack of self-esteem
  • Lack of ambition
  • Unemployment
  • Loneliness
  • Family history
  • History of excessive drinking
  • Drug abuse

Treating depression

Doctors often prescribe anti-depressant medications and recommend lifestyle changes which will boost patients’  confidence and open them up to new opportunities. Some patients will also be advised to undertake a course of counselling, which will address the source of the problems and help the patient to overcome this.

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