Depression is one of the most common mental health problems, with one in five people in Scotland diagnosed with the illness at some point in their lives.
It is different from feeling down or unhappy, as the feelings associated with depression are often far more intense and can stay with people for extended periods of time.
Depression affects people in different ways, but commonly leads to feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, anxiety and negativity.
Mild depression doesn’t stop people from leading normal lives, but makes everything feel more difficult. At its most extreme depression can be life threatening if it causes people to feel suicidal.
Common Experiences of Depression
- Lack of energy and concentration.
- Feeling low, sad.
- Lack of feelings.
- Feeling worthless.
- Disrupted sleep i.e. insomnia, sleeping for long periods.
- Feeling distant/isolated from people.
“I've lived with clinical depression for about 15 years and the reason I know that depression is so misunderstood is that the most common reaction I get from people is "You're a beautiful girl with a great job, a lovely home and a fantastic family - what do you have to be depressed about?"
“People still seem to think that depression is a choice and not an illness just like any physical one. A wealthy Stockbroker friend of mine was exhibiting all the classic signs of depression and went to his doctor for a full health check. When his doctor told him that he believed he was suffering from depression, my friend insisted on a brain scan for a brain tumour as "People like me don't get depression!"
“There still exists so much prejudice and stigma around depression despite it being so common. So it's important that we keep talking about it and showing that ALL kinds of people can get depression - again just like any physical illness.”
– Tracey King
Read Tracey's story here.