National Depression Awareness Week 11-17th April

1 in 5 people in the UK suffer from depression

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This week, from 11th - 17th April, is Depression Awareness week across the UK.

Depression affects 1 in 5 people at some point in their lives and can make everyday things like speaking to friends, making a meal or getting out of bed impossible to manage.

The word 'depression' is used to describe everyday feelings of low mood which can affect us all from time to time. Feeling sad or fed up is a normal reaction to experiences that are upsetting, stressful or difficult; those feelings will usually pass.

If you are affected by depression, you are not 'just' sad or upset. You have an illness which means that intense feeling of persistent sadness, helplessness and hopelessness are accompanied by physical effects such as sleeplessness, a loss of energy, or physical aches and pains.

Sometimes people may not realise how depressed they are, especially if they have been feeling the same for a long time, if they have been trying to cope with their depression by keeping themselves busy, or if their depressive symptoms are more physical than emotional.

Ealing GP Jeremy Gittins told us that National Depression Week is an opportunity for everyone to look around at their friends and family and themselves and consider whether anyone they know might be depressed.

"Two simple questions you can ask yourself are: during the last month, have you often been bothered by feeling down, depressed or hopeless? And during the last month, have you often been bothered by having little interest or pleasure in doing things?”

Gittins says if the answer to either of these is yes and you think you would like help with depression think about visiting your GP. 

"Your GP may refer you on to a counselling service such as the Ealing Mental Health and Well-being service, or may suggest self help therapy or even medication.  Remember 1 in 5 people suffer from depression during their lifetime so it is very common and there should be no stigma attached to admitting that you might be depressed."


12th April 2011