Doesn't is just lift your spirits to see the summer bedding plants bursting into vibrant colour? The longer days and warmer, brighter weather tells us that summer is finally here after and very long and cold winter.
But for those affected by depression it can take a bit more than a few flowers to brighten up our day.
During the dark winter months we can all be affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), where long dark nights can have a detrimental effect on our mood.
Depression is not only caused by the changing seasons though. It can also be triggered by a number of psycho-social factors such as:-
- Death of a loved one
- Chronic illness/pain
- Conflicts – work/marital/social
- Certain medication
- Low self esteem
Statistics show that 1 in 4 people will experience some kind of mental health problem in the course of a year with anxiety and depression being the most common. Between 8 & 10% of the UK population struggle with depression and the effect it has on home life, career, relationships and personal esteem.
It is also far more common in woman than men, with 1 in 4 women suffering from depression compared with 1 in 10 men.
So can we recognise when we are suffering from depression?
Well, according to the HNS the symptoms can be very complex and include psychological, physical or social symptoms such as:-
- Continuous low mood or sadness/feelings of guilt
- Feelings of hopelessness and helplessness
- Fearfulness, anxiety, irritability
- Lack of motivation/interest in things
- Suicidal thoughts
- Reduced libido
- Change in appetite/weight
- Disturbed sleep pattern
- Avoiding contact with friends/social activities
Some people are unaware they are depressed and it may take them some time to recognise these symptoms for what they are.
If you feel you are suffering from depression you should visit your GP who, through the use of questionnaires, will be able to measure the level of depression and offer a variety of treatments such as:-
- Antidepressants - Medication to treat the symptoms of depression. There are approximately 30 different types of anti-depressants.
- Counselling - supporting people to find solutions to problems.
- Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) - helping you to change the way you think and challenge negative thoughts. Mindfulness is a very popular form of CBT and there is an excellent book on Mindfulness, called "The Mindful Way Through Depression" (including guided meditation practice CD) by Mark Williams, John Teasdale & Zindel Segal.
However, if you are looking for more complementary therapies you could try Herbal Remedies such as St.Johns Wart for mild to moderate depression, or you may want to try Acupuncture, Aroma Therapy, Colour Therapy, Homeopathy or Reflexology which are all very effective in lifting mood and helping people to cope with situations they would normally not be able to deal with.
If you would like to find out more about how Reflexology can help you manage your depression or anxiety, check out www.tranquilhaven.co.uk or telephone Catherine Harper on 07962 975 124, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
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