Quotes I liked from the depression awareness week campaign.
“In the hopes of reaching the moon, men fail to see the flowers that blossom at their feet” Albert Schweitzer
“The difference between can and cannot are only 3 letters. 3 letters that determine your life’s direction” Remez Sasson
Further information – (please note that the organisation which put this information out is based in Cambridgeshire, UK, so many of the help groups are local to there. Please contact your local social services or medical team if you need organisations local to your area.)
What is depression?
We often use the expression “I’m feeling depressed” when we’re feeling sad or miserable about life, or we may just be having an ‘off’ day. Usually, these feelings pass in due course. However if the feelings are interfering with your life and don’t go away after a couple of weeks, or if they come back, over and over again, for a few days at a time, it could be a sign that you’re depressed in the medical sense of the term.
Symptoms of Depression
The following list is not exhaustive and each person who experiences depression will have a range of different symptoms.
- being restless and agitated
- waking up early, having difficulty sleeping, or sleeping more
- feeling tired and lacking energy; doing less and less
- using more tobacco, alcohol or other drugs than usual
- not eating properly and losing or putting on weight
- crying a lot
- difficulty remembering things
- feeling low-spirited for much of the time, every day
- being unusually irritable or impatient
- getting no pleasure out of life or what you usually enjoy
- losing interest in your sex life
- blaming yourself and feeling unnecessarily guilty about things
- lacking self-esteem
- being preoccupied with negative thoughts
- feeling numb, empty and despairing
- feeling helpless
- distancing yourself from others; not asking for support
- taking a bleak, pessimistic view of the future
What causes depression?
There’s no one cause of depression; it varies very much from person to person and can occur through a combination of factors. These factors could be related to past experiences, a difficult childhood, trauma (physical or emotional) and learnt behaviour. Some professionals can view depression as a sign of unfinished mourning – that is mourning for a loss where feelings haven’t been dealt with.
Support for Depression
Mind in Cambridgeshire’s Think Right project have produced ‘Top Tip’ materials that give practical advice on how people can: manage stress, maintain positive thoughts, improve confidence and self esteem, manage stress, tips for relaxation together with tips for a better night’s sleep. These can be downloaded from www.huntsmind.org.uk/comic-relief-project
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
CBT aims to help people change the way they think, feel and behave. The focus is on changing thoughts patterns so that our thinking process become more positive.
- Mind in Cambridgeshire’s Changing Lives Project. Referral to this project is via a person’s GP. The project offers 6 sessions of low intensity CBT. There is no cost for this service. At this current time, the project covers the Huntingdonshire and Fenland areas.
- · Living Life to the Full is an on-line free resource which offer CBT self help. The website is www.llttf.com
- · Mood Gym is also an on-line free resource which offers CBT self help. The website is www.moodgym.anu.edu.au
Counselling can sometimes be helpful in clarifying our problems and challenges, sort out changes we would like to make and gain fresh perspectives so that we can consider the consequences of various options and acknowledge the impact of life events on our emotional well being.
- Mind in Cambridgeshire run a counselling service which offers 12 sessions. There is a cost for this service which ranges from a maximum of £30 per session to a minimum of £5 per session. People can self refer and what a person actually pays are discussed on an individual basis. Counselling is available in St Neots, Huntingdon (Maple Centre) and Cambridge. The telephone number to access the counselling service is 07561 182508.
- To access private counselling visit British Association of Counsellors and
Psychotherapists – www.bacp.co.uk. Always ensure when accessing private counselling that the therapist is fully qualified and registered.
Richmond Fellowship provide a service for people who are experiencing mental health challenges, including depression, to retain their employment. They also provide a service for people who may be experiencing depression and have not worked for a period of time, who are wishing to return to work. For more information on the services provided locally, please call Richmond Fellowship Hunts and Fens Employment Service on 01480 456257.
Sources of Information
- Depression Alliance – www.depressionalliance.org, Tel – 0845 123 2320
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