Depression is the most common mental health concern in the world, and yet nearly half of all people with depression do not get the treatment they need.
According to research by Statistica, 41 per cent of young people in the United Kingdom have reported feeling depressed, but getting the help they need is sometimes not easy.
Depression is a complicated mental health disorder as it is caused by a mix of experiences, genetics and a range of other factors that can make it hard to pin down a root cause to aid in treatment.
As well as this, depression can create its own barriers to treatment. This can range from an inability to see the scale of depressive behaviour, to denial, to feelings of lethargy, helplessness, hopelessness and even self-destruction that can cause someone to feel help is out of reach.
This makes prevention so important, and one of the biggest parts of this is spotting these signs in yourself and other people.
Like with any other condition, the earlier signs are spotted, the sooner treatment, whether it takes the form of an online therapist, group treatments or medication, can begin and the less destructive the depression can be.
Here are some of the signs to look for. Whilst many of us may experience these symptoms for a brief period of time, if you notice them continuously or mostly continuously for more than a week, you should visit your GP.
Low Feelings And Sadness
Depression is associated with sadness, but this can manifest in far more ways than feeling upset.
Many people with depression report feeling a sense of numbness and emptiness, as if the world has had the colour drained out of it, so a potential sign of depression is in effect a lack of feeling or energy, and struggling to find joy in parts of life you typically would.
It can also affect your self-esteem, which is part of the reason why people with depression sometimes struggle to seek out treatment.
Many symptoms of depression are interlinked, one connecting element is that in many cases it has a very negative effect on our self-image and our relationship with other people.
People with depression can often be distant and avoid social situations, as well as have difficulty speaking during these situations. This is in part caused by a feeling of isolation and otherness that can make people struggle to relate to other people.
As well as this, a lack of self-esteem and even a sense of self-loathing and guilt can cause people to avoid others.
This feeling is not real, but it can feel incredibly real and make it difficult to determine what is real and what isn’t.
If a person with depression is unaware of what is causing other symptoms of depression, they sometimes may start engaging in self-destructive behaviours to manage the emotional and physical pain depression can cause.
Whilst more clear signs of this can be seen in more excessive smoking, drinking alcohol and use of drugs, it can also be seen in either eating too much or too little, or self-harm.
These acts can be very dangerous and whilst they can in some cases offer short term relief, they can potentially cause long term harm.
In some cases, this is caused by intrusive and difficult to control thoughts, which can be very frightening.
If you spot these signs in yourself it is important to seek help, and know that people are there for you and to help you.
If you see these signs in other people, it is important to be there for them, as you may be the first step they have taken to reach out.