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What is depression?

We all feel a little down sometimes, but depression is much more than that. It’s a psychological condition that can have a severe impact on your day-to-day life.

According to the mental health charity Mind, 3.3 in 100 people in England suffer from depression each year, while a further 7.8 in 100 experience a mixture of depression and anxiety, so you’re not on your own.

Everyone experiences depression differently. Some people suffer from mild symptoms, while others experience severe depression that can lead to them feeling suicidal. Your triggers and symptoms are entirely unique to you and our supportive doctors will help you find the treatment method that you need.

What are the symptoms of depression?

Depression has a wide range of physical and psychological symptoms, but the main signs you may be depressed are if you’ve been feeling sad or low for more than a couple of weeks.

Other common symptoms include a lack of interest in things you used to enjoy, feeling constantly tired or on the verge of tears, thoughts of harming yourself, aches and pains, poor sleep and sudden weight loss.

Read more about the symptoms of depression.

How is depression treated?

Once our doctors have listened to your symptoms, they’re in a position to recommend the most effective treatment.

This normally takes the form of either talking therapies (such as counselling or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy), medication, or a combination of the two.

If you choose to go for therapy, during your first session, you’ll discuss the issues you’re facing and what triggers your symptoms. This will help your specialist create a detailed treatment plan to deal with your symptoms. This will progress each time you meet with your therapist.

Read more about depression treatment.

What causes depression?

There are many factors that can trigger depression. Psychological factors such as stress or anxiety in your work, home or social life can all contribute. There can also be physical factors, such as an injury or long-term illness, and even biological factors, including your family history or a chemical imbalance in your brain.

By asking questions, our doctors can pinpoint factors that could be triggering your depression and help you take steps to manage or avoid them.

Read more about causes and triggers of depression.

How is depression diagnosed?

Our doctors will discuss your symptoms with you in order to form a diagnosis. They’ll ask you a range of questions about how you’re feeling and it’s important that you answer honestly.

Remember, our doctors aren’t here to judge or criticise. They’ll keep your answers completely confidential and use them to form the most effective treatment plan for you.

Read more about how depression is diagnosed.

What is prenatal & postnatal depression?

Depression can affect women during their pregnancy (prenatal), or after they give birth (postnatal). Pregnant women are more at risk of depression due to the fluctuation of hormones in their body.

Some pregnant women choose to keep their symptoms to themselves, in order to avoid being judged. Our doctors understand what you’re going through and will provide sensitive, practical advice for dealing with prenatal or postnatal depression.

Men can experience postnatal depression too. Our doctors are happy to help new dads who are feeling the pressure of parenthood.

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Dr. Katie Amelia, GP specialist in mental health & well being.

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