Depression is a medical condition which is considered to be as common both asthma and diabetes combined. Can you imagine however a diabetic or asthmatic feeling ashamed to ask for help? The answer is no…with these conditions, sufferers are aware of their situation and what action and help they need to take should difficulties arise. Sadly, this is not the case for many who suffer from depression. Historically, depression is viewed as something that affects other people, or is “nothing worth fussing about” These archaic views combined with feelings of shame or indeed denial mean that a significant number of cases go undiagnosed. The stigma of depression stops many from seeking help. If you are feeling low or down, do not be ashamed to ask for help, there is absolutely no shame in asking for help. It may be depression or maybe not, however if you don’t ask, you’ll never know.
Recognising, acknowledging and then seeking help is a sign of strength. So, think of it this way…. It’s OK to be not OK and it’s absolutely OK to ask for help”
Depression is not choosy about who it affects and like many other conditions; it can strike anyone at any-time. Education can really help; learning simple facts about depression can help us prevent it’s onset as well as recover quicker if it does strike. Ignoringfacts about depression makes us more prone and less likely to seek help. With this in mind, here are some of the facts to help you discover what many choose to ignore (in no particular order)
What NOT to ignore about depression?
· AWARE (a charity that supports people with depression) estimates that 300,000 Irish people suffer from depression (7.7% of the population). Some experts consider this a low estimate as it is reckoned two thirds of sufferers do not even seek treatment
· Major Depression is 1.5 to 3 times more common among first-degree biological relatives of those with the disorder than among the general population
· Statistically, women experience depression about twice as often as men and may be at a higher risk for depression. This may be due in part to oestrogen, which can alter the activity of those neurotransmitters that contribute to depression
· Women between the ages of 25 and 44 are most often affected by depression with the inability to express or handle anger a major cause.
· Once men hit midlife, they may face an increased risk of depression due to the decrease of testosterone
· Men typically experience depression differently from women and use different means to cope. For example, while women may feel hopeless, men may feel irritable. Women may crave a listening ear, while men may became socially withdrawn or become violent or abusive
· As the brains of older people are more vulnerable to chemical abnormalities, they are more likely to suffer depression than younger people
· By the year 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that depression will be the number two cause of "lost years of healthy life" worldwide
· Perhaps this is the most important fact…..80% of people with clinical depression who have received treatment have found it significantly improved their lives.
Want to learn more?Now you can, Whelehans Pharmacy have organised an information evening hosted by an expert panel of local healthcare professionals to discuss depression and mental health. Our talk will be in the Greville Arms Hotel on Tuesday February 10th at 7pm, is free to attend and all are welcome.
Speakers will include:-
- Consultant Psychiatrist from St Lomans Mental Health Service, Dr Ciaran Corcoran;
- Specialist Psychiatric Nurse from Mullingar General Hospital, Colette Moriarty
- Pharmacist Eamonn Brady from Whelehans Pharmacy, Mullingar
You can turn up on the night or book your place in advance by calling Whelehans Pharmacy at 04493 34591.
Are you feeling low? Your GP should be your first port of call and can offer you support and advice on treatment options. For more support and advice on depression contact AWARE at 01 661 7211 or check www.aware.ie