Sunday, April 2, 2017
It's World Health Day this week on the 7th April, and this year the focus is on depression.
The World Health Organisation, who run the campaign for World Health Day, have released new figures which suggest that the number of people living with depression in the UK has increased by over 18% between 2005 and 2015. In addition to this, MentalHealth.org have published figures showing that in 2013, 6233 sucides were recorded in the UK over the age of 15, with 78% of those being male, and 22% being female.
With 1 in 8 men in the UK experiencing a mental health problem at some point in their life, we take a look at depression in men, how it can be recognised and where effective help can be sought from.
A lot of people experience feelings of being down, unhappy and a bit fed up throughout life, however depression is more than that. Depression is when you feel persistently sad for long periods of time, such as weeks or months, rather than just the odd day.
Depression in men can sometimes be hard to identify as there is a feeling that they must remain strong, struggle through alone, and not talk about it. If you or a family member are struggling, a GP can offer confidential advice and support.
Like any health condition, people can be affected in different ways. The symptoms of depression can vary person to person, and be a mixture of both physical and psychological.
Psychological symptoms of depression include:
- a continuous low mood of feeling of sadness
- feeling hopeless
- feeling tearful
- lack of motivation
- difficulty in making decisions
- feeling irritable and easy annoyed by others
- feelings of constant worry and anxiety
- in some cases a person may experience suicidal thoughts or thoughts of harming themselves
These pyschological symptoms can also begin to affect a person's social life and activities, and consequently cause them to avoid contact with friends or family; struggle at work due to lack of concentration; and neglect the things that they enjoy doing most.
While there is a lot of focus on the psychological feelings of depression, there are also physical symptoms to look out for, and these include:
- changes in weight, caused by undereating or overeating
- unexplained aches and pains
- feeling of no energy
- low sex drive
- different sleeping patterns, so sleeping too much or not being able to sleep at all
- drinking more alcohol than usual
If you find that you are experiencing some of the symptoms outlined above on a persistent basis, be sure to contact your GP for help and advice as soon as possible. They can talk you through how you are feeling on a confidential basis and offer their advice on how you can move forward, and suggest any treatments that might be beneficial to you.
If you or someone you know is experiencing thoughts of suicide or self-harm it is especially important that they contact their GP as soon as possible.