Healthy Friday: Taming the black dog of depression

What is depression?

Depression is a common condition, characterised by sadness, loss of interest or pleasure in activities that you normally enjoy, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, feelings of tiredness, and poor concentration. At its most severe, depression can lead to suicide, now the second leading cause of death among people between the ages of 15 and 29.

Who does it affect?

Depression affects people of all ages, from all walks of life, in all countries. It causes mental anguish and impacts on people’s ability to carry out even the simplest everyday tasks, with sometimes devastating consequences for relationships with family and friends and the ability to earn a living.

Depression can be treated

A better understanding of what depression is, and how it can be prevented and treated, will help reduce the stigma associated with the condition, and lead to more people seeking help.

 

What you need to know:

  • Depression is a common mental disorder that affects people of all ages, from all walks of life, in all countries.
  • The risk of becoming depressed is increased by poverty, unemployment, life events such as the death of a loved one or a relationship break-up, physical illness and problems caused by alcohol and drug use.
  • Depression causes mental anguish and can impact on people’s ability to carry out even the simplest everyday tasks, with sometimes devastating consequences for relationships with family and friends.
  • Untreated depression can prevent people from working and participating in family and community life.
  • At worst, depression can lead to suicide.
  • Depression can be effectively prevented and treated. Treatment usually involves either a talking therapy or antidepressant medication or a combination of these.
  • Overcoming the stigma often associated with depression will lead to more people getting help.
  • Talking with people you trust can be a first step towards recovery from depression.

Watch this beautiful World Health Day video

In collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) the writer and illustrator Matthew Johnstone tells the story of overcoming the “black dog of depression”.

  AUTHOR
Caxton Central

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