Defeating Depression

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Defeating Depression:

1 Defeating Depression Consultant Psychiatric Service Student Health Department University College Cork



Depression is Different from Unhappiness:

Depression is Different from Unhappiness Unhappiness is a short-lived response to stress but Depression lasts longer than 2 weeks Depression has specific symptoms

One Person in Five suffers from Depression at some time:

One Person in Five suffers from Depression at some time 30-50% go undiagnosed It is a very treatable condition

Emotional Symptoms of Depression:

Emotional Symptoms of Depression Sadness Irritability Isolation Loss of motivation Guilt feelings Hopelessness Suicidal thinking Anxiety Poor self esteem

Depression usually has some Vivid Physical Symptoms:

Depression usually has some Vivid Physical Symptoms Fatigue Sleep disturbance Appetite disturbance Lowered sex drive Aches and pains

Depression Changes the Way the Brain Functions:

Depression Changes the Way the Brain Functions The brain responds to severe stress by chemical adaptations in how nerve cells communicate with each other. The neurotransmitters involved, mainly serotonin, noradrenaline and dopamine become disrupted.

Major Risk Factors for Depression:

Major Risk Factors for Depression Stress: especially long-term stress Genetics: many genes involved Alcohol Misuse : alcohol is a depressant Other Drugs: e.g. Amphetamines, Cannabis, Cocaine, Ecstasy

Depression is Very Real and Potentially Serious.:

Depression is Very Real and Potentially Serious. Results in disabling emotional and physical symptoms. Disrupts coping skills. Can become a vicious cycle of stress and worsening depression.

Depression is Very Treatable:

Depression is Very Treatable Yet 30 - 50% go undiagnosed. Differently to physical illness the sufferer becomes hopeless early and cannot see that help is possible. It is stigmatised due to ignorance Often friends or relatives have to encourage the person to seek help.

Recognising Depression in a Friend:

Recognising Depression in a Friend Noticing Personality changes Self isolation Deterioration of friendships Reduction in social activities Irritability Reduced self care Absenteeism Ignoring depression in a friend won’t make it go away !

Defeating Depression:

Defeating Depression Psychological Therapies Medication Relaxation and Yoga Exercise and Lifestyle Treatment uses several complementary approaches

Defeating Depression:

Defeating Depression Psychological Therapies To help Reduce stress Increase coping strategies Initiate life-style changes Learn self-help strategies e.g. relaxation

Defeating Depression:

Defeating Depression Psychological Therapies Used Cognitive Behavior Therapy helps in Re-learning positive pathways in thinking Counselling helps in Learning new approaches to problem solving Exploring unresolved past difficulties.

Defeating Depression:

Defeating Depression Medication May be advised if physical symptoms are present e.g. concentration loss, energy loss, sleep or appetite disturbance. Antidepressants work by helping to restore normal efficient chemical (neurotransmitter) function in the brain.

Defeating Depression:

Defeating Depression Other Therapies Relaxation techniques and Yoga Reduce effects of stress Regular Exercise Helps the brain’s chemicals adjust to normal.

Defeating Depression:

Defeating Depression Recognising that It can be successfully treated There may be serious consequences if it’s untreated Friends and relatives are important in encouraging sufferers to seek help Treatment involves a multi-faceted approach Goal of treatment is to reduce effects of stress on the brain and restore normal function.

Defeating Depression:

Defeating Depression Help is Available from Your own Family Doctor The UCC Student Health Service Ardpatrick, College Road (021-490 2311) Counseling Service General Practitioners Consultant Psychiatrist