The average person is likely to suffer from depression at some point in their life.
However, research shows that most people who experience it do not realise how bad they are.
A new book explores what it means to be depressed and how to recognise and treat the condition.
Psychologist Will Wilkinson of the University of Nottingham and colleagues say people often struggle to understand why they feel the way they do, especially when it is so clear that they need help.
“We have a long way to go to understanding how depression works and what it can mean to be unhappy with the way you are,” Dr Wilkinson said.
“So, I think that understanding depression is one of the biggest challenges we face in our society.”
And that’s why the idea of an alternative mental health service is important.
“Dr Wilkinson said depression can affect anyone, whether they are suffering from it as a result of illness, or have an underlying condition.”
When we look at a lot of different types of depression we see that depression is most often seen in women and young people,” Dr Wilkins said.
In her book Depression: The Psychology Behind It, published by University of Sydney Press, Dr Wilkinson says depression is a mental illness that affects more than one in four people, and more than a third of people with depression do not recognise it.”
Depression is the most common mental illness in Australia and it’s estimated that more than 15 per cent of people suffer from the illness,” she said.”[We’re] finding that most of those with depression are women.
So it’s an invisible disease that people don’t recognise.
“Dr Wilkins says it’s not uncommon for people with mental health issues to struggle to recognise their symptoms and the best way to manage them.”
Many people feel like they don’t want to discuss their mental health, they don ‘lose it’ and they’re scared to talk about it,” she explained.”
They’re afraid that people will judge them or make assumptions about them.
“What to doIf you or anyone you know is struggling with depression, you can get help.
But you’ll need to get professional help, as well as a support group.
If you or someone you know needs help, get in touch with your GP or psychiatrist.
Depression isn’t a choiceThe treatment for depression can vary depending on how serious the problem is.
A person may be able to go on a medication-free diet, or be prescribed a combination of antidepressants and other drugs.
The most common medication used to treat depressive symptoms is lithium.
Lithium, which has a very low risk of causing side effects, can be used in conjunction with medication.”
It’s a very safe medication, and it can be given in combination with medication,” Dr John said.
But it is also known to cause a “rebound effect” in the body, which means that the drug’s effects fade and it will not return to its normal level of effectiveness.
If you need help, talk to your GP, psychiatrist or social worker about your options.
They can discuss the risk of side effects and how long they expect the medication to last.
If depression is the cause, the doctor can prescribe a combination treatment plan, including: a mood stabiliser such as lithium, lithium salt or lithium citrate (Lithopharm), a medication called lithium hydrochloride, lithium tranylcypromine (LTHCP) or lithium gluconate (LGHCP).”
It may be appropriate to give lithium hydrocysteine to those who have a history of depression,” Dr Johnson said.
Depressed people can also receive antidepressants, which include fluoxetine and venlafaxine.
These drugs are sometimes used for the treatment of anxiety, and have a higher chance of side-effects.
If your depression is severe, you may be prescribed an antidepressant, but your doctor will be able assess your risk of depression-related complications.”
If you’re unsure about what to expect, talk with your doctor about your symptoms and if they are serious enough to warrant treatment.”
If it’s high, it’s potentially risky and we need treatment, but if it’s low, it can actually be very beneficial.”
If you’re unsure about what to expect, talk with your doctor about your symptoms and if they are serious enough to warrant treatment.
If the condition is not serious enough, a person can try to reduce their stress and become more socially relaxed.
But if they remain depressed, the chances of becoming suicidal increases.
“If people are depressed, they’re more likely to think about what they could do to get better and that’s one of those things that we can intervene on,” Dr Williamson said.
Dr Williams says people often seek help for their mental illness when they feel depressed, and that is the main reason people with a depression are so hard to treat.
“What people need to do is to acknowledge that depression and suicidal ideation are not mutually exclusive,” Dr Will said.