Depression is a common and certainly significant mental health condition that will affect over half of us at some point in our lives.  These bouts of depression may self-resolve without treatment and may also resolve in days or weeks.  Depression that is serious enough for patients to present to their Doctor and receive treatment is likely to affect 1 in 4 women and 1 in 10 men.  Not unsurprisingly therefore I see a lot of patients experiencing troubles and this is why I knew it was essential condition to cover in my depression video series.  I have tried to cover a number of issues that I have helped my own patients with over the years.

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How do I know if I am depressed?

I have to admit that a lot of people don’t! It can be difficult for you to recognise as clinical depression can develop slowly and it may be that your friends and family are the ones that notice changes.  I cannot recall how many times (it is a lot by the way) that I have made a diagnosis of depression in people that initially come to see me complaining of being “tired all of time”. In my experience this is a cue for me ask my patients about how they are doing and this will often unearth problems, insomnia and other features that may indicate a diagnosis of depression. Using my AskDocJames version of the ‘PHQ-9 depression scale’ will help you recognise the tell-tail symptoms of depression.

Can I help myself?

Absolutely! If you are depressed there are a number of things that you can be doing to make yourself better and the same goes if you are feeling low too. One of the best bits of advice I can give is to talk.  Talking allows you to share your problems and another opinion on what is troubling you is likely to help rationalise your issues.  This is also available professionally through counselling.  Check out my videos for advice on counselling and other really useful tips on how to beat the blues.

Types of depression

There are numerous types of depression that are normally classified on the likely trigger for the development of the condition.  Examples include bereavement and job loss causing a ‘reactive depression’ and women can develop a ‘postnatal depression’ after childbirth.  The management of the different types will have different elements to their management and these can be discussed with your Doctor.

Want to know more?

If there are issues or burning questions that you have surrounding depression get in touch by filling out a clinical query on the AskDocJames contact us page or follow Doc James on Facebook and write on the AskDocJames wall.  We are grateful for any questions that you raise and guarantee that they will be used to help direct our clinical advice and our depression videos, although we will not be able to respond to your questions directly.