Everyone feels depressed at times, but clinical depression occurs when a person finds it impossible to get out of this frame of mind and their feelings are severe and persistant. Depression affects every area of an individual’s life, as he/she finds it difficult to function and get on with life. Depression is assossiated with feelings of sadness, hopelessness, helplessness and irritability. Depression is a major problem world-wide. Women are twice as likely to suffer from depression than men, and most depressive illnesses occur in people ageing between 20- mid 40s. between 80-90% of depressed people respond to their treatement. Thus it has a high success rates provided that it is detected and the individual is put under medical guidance.

Are You Depressed?

Screening tests are done by health workers to tell if a person is depressed. Some determine whether you are suffering from anxiety or depression (e.g. dr. Zigmond and Dr. Snaith’s Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale: HAD), some are used for special purposes (e.g. The Edingburgh Post-Natal depression Scale: EPDS), others still are used to test elderly people that may be hard of hearing: BASDEC.

How many of the following symptoms or feelings do you have?

D stands for dismal, despondent, dejected, down, despairing, doomed, and, of course, depressed.

E stands for exhaustionlack of energy.

P stands for panic.

R stands for retardation (slowness), regret, and lack of registration

E stands for eating. Heavily depressed people tend to eat too little, people with mild depression over-eat.

S stands for sleep. There may be a difficulty in falling asleep, or a constant need to sleep.

S stands also for suicide, the worst outcome of depression.

I stands for irritability, indecision and inattention.

O stands for obsession with something morbid.

N stands for numbness, which makes depressed people feel far away from their loved ones. Also for negativity.

taken from “Down with Gloom!” by Prof. Brice Pitt

Treating Depression

In treating depression, specialist help is often very important, as is self-help. and help from family and/or friends.


“We get the Hump

Cameelious Hump

The Hump that is black and blue!

The cure for this ill is not to sit still

Or frowst with a book by the fire;

But to take a large hoe and shovel also, and dig till you gently perspire.”

Rudyard Kipling, How the camel got his hump

Physical activity can help take your mind off negativity. in milder depression, carrying on with everyday activities helps to get rid of feelings of helplessness. This might take a lot of effort, but is worth it in the end. It is important to eat enough food to keep the body healthy.

Friends and Family

It is particularly helpful to depressed people to:-

  • listen to them more, say less
  • accept that they feel bad
  • remind them that they will get better
  • point out medical help is available
  • hold back on other advice
  • offer practical help and support
  • keep up the support until they are better
  • keep in touch