World Mental Health Day
October 10, 2008, 8:46 am
Filed under: Health | Tags: , , ,

Today (October 10th) is World Mental Health Day, or BlueDay2008, designed to raise awareness of mental health issues, their effects on you and your family and to make you aware of the symptoms. A lot of fuss is made about keeping yourself physically fit, but not a lot is said about being mentally fit as well, even though the former helps the latter no end.

The internet is awash with stories today about severe depression and anxiety and the way it can wreck lives, but that isn’t the only kind of depression, much more prevalent is the kind of depression you probably wouldn’t even realise you suffer from until you read the symptoms. It manifests itself as a general feeling of … meh, I can’t be arsed, and it’s a lot more common than you might think. Don’t think that just because it isn’t as serious that it’ll just go away on it’s own, or that it won’t get any more serious. Mild depression is quite common, and easily treated for most people.

So what are the symptoms? It’s not like you come out in a rash, the symptoms are not hard to spot, but most people don’t know what they are:

  • Persistent sad, anxious or empty mood
  • Changes in sleep
  • Change in appetite with weight loss or gain
  • Lack of interest in once enjoyable activities
  • Restless/irritable
  • Persistent physical symptoms that don’t respond to treatment
  • Difficulty concentrating and/or remembering things
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Fatigue/loss of energy
  • Feeling guilty, hopeless or worthless
  • Thoughts of suicide or death

Have a look at that list. Recognise anything? If you recognise any more than a couple of those in yourself (or anyone else) then it’s probably a good idea to see your doctor, the latter ones especially. This is the next problem with depression, it’s still seen as a taboo subject, people are scared to talk about it and afraid to go and talk to a doctor, I think it’s largely down to negative images of the term “mental illness”, that it somehow makes you inferior, worse than everyone else. That’s bollocks.

Treatment for minor bouts of depression can be as simple as “getting some excersize”, there are even herbal remedies that work, you won’t instantly get dosed up on happy pills if that’s what worries you. Have a look at some of these other pages about depression & anxiety and if you’re worried, just go and see the doctor …


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