Like the famous Dr. Pepper slogan, depression is an illness that is definitely “so misunderstood”. Often palmed off as an “illness” that happens to people who feel a bit down, depression generally has a stigma about it. This article explores the causes and symptoms of depression and how to cope if you find that you are depressed.
Figures reveal that gay men are more likely to suffer from depression, mainly because of the social implications they face because of their sexuality. Particularly amongst gay teens, depression can play a significant part as bullying, isolation and rejection go unnoticed at schools. Surveys also show men actually suffer from depression just as much as women do, but are more afraid or perhaps embarrassed to ask for help. This guide is particularly aimed at gay men who would like more information on depression and sources of support for the condition.Is depression actually an illness or is it just feeling miserable?
There is no doubt that depression causes a massive amount of suffering and can potentially lead to suicide. If you are feeling sad for prolonged periods of time and feel unable to lift yourself out of this mood, you may be suffering from a ‘depressive illness'.How do I know if I'm depressed?
The effects of depression vary from person to person, however the main symptoms generally include an inability to enjoy anything, concentrate properly, starting to feel hopeless and a feeling of guilt. Physically, someone suffering from depression can lose weight, experience a reduced libido and appetite and become more irritable than usual.I think I suffer from depression, what should I do?
The best place to start is by talking to your General Practitioner (GP) who will go over the options that you have. Often by talking to someone, you can begin to feel much better about the situation. Do not worry about anyone else finding out, your GP is bound to keep your details confidential. Your doctor will be able to provide much more information regarding depression and the avenues of support you have open to you.
What you must remember is that depression is a real, serious illness with very real effects. There are some people who believe that depression is simply an admission of failure, however this is simply not true. It is important for you to receive help and support if you are suffering from depression. You can call the National Depression Helpline for more information on 0800 111 757.Someone close to me has just died. Am I feeling grief or depression?
It is true that grief and depression share many of the same characteristics but are quite different. If you are naturally grieving the loss of someone, you will find that feelings of sadness come and go in waves. You will still be able to enjoy certain things. If you are suffering from depression, the sad feelings are constant and a level of enjoyment cannot be reached by anything.What causes depression?
Studies vary in their answer to this question. The causes of depression change from person to person and can range in anything from divorce, illness, stressful events and money worries. It is difficult to pinpoint the cause of depression but talking to a professional adviser can help to identify the source of the depression.
It has been shown that a family history of depression means that you are more likely to suffer from the illness. Genes can be inherited that that can have an effect on the natural chemical, serotonin that controls your mood. Your general mood is dependant on the balance of chemicals in the brain called neurotransmitters. If you are depressed, research has revealed that you will have a lower level of serotonin and other neurotransmitters.
However, it must be recognized that a family history of depression means that you will automatically become depressed. Many people with a family history of depression never develop the condition, and conversely many people with no family history of depression do develop suffer from the illness.My friend suffers from depression and is feeling suicidal. What should I do?
Suicide rates amongst those who are depressed is very high as someone who suffers from depression can often feel like there is no way out (studies have shown that up to 90% of all suicides are related to mental disorders such as depression). It has also been revealed that young gay men are in a high risk category of suicide because of the social pressures that can accompany trying to accept your sexuality and coming out. They are up to six times more likely to commit suicide than their straight counterparts.
If a friend is beginning to talk about suicide a lot, self harming or perhaps seems much happier than usual, it could be a sign that your friend is contemplating committing suicide. Let your friend know that you are there for them and offer your support in finding solutions for them.
If you believe your friend to be in immediate danger, stay with the person and try to keep them away from available means of suicide, such as kitchen utensils and medication.How can I prevent myself from becoming depressed?
Recent research has revealed that a bad diet is a major contributing factor to depression. Eating plenty of Omega-3 Fatty Acids and protein can dramatically increase the amount of serotonin in your brain.
Products such as copious amounts of alcohol, caffeine, chocolate, cheese and bread can have a negative effect on your mood.
Doing plenty of exercise also triggers the release of serotonin in the brain.