iStock_000016293734XSmall“People experience depression in many different ways, but perhaps the most prominent feature is low or sad mood. Other typical signs of depression include lethargy, trouble with sleeping or early waking, feeling constantly tired, pessimistic negative thoughts, difficulty thinking straight or making decisions, change in appetite and loss of interest in things once enjoyed.

There are different types of depressive reaction, ranging from mild mood fluctuations or ‘the blues’, to severe clinical depression. At the severe end of the scale, people often experience more marked physical symptoms related to biochemical changes in the brain.

Most people, a depressive reaction is triggered by a set of life events which they are finding difficult to cope with. Depression is not easy to ‘snap out of’, but there are ways that you can gradually reduce the impact of, or even free yourself from, depression.”

Taken from “The Mental health Handbook” by Trevor Powell (Page 77)

At MGA we recognise that depression will touch the lives of all of us at some point. For some, the experience will be direct and life will seem like it is shrouded in thick fog. For others, it will be a loved one that suffers, and they will be left feeling confused and helpless.

Unfortunately, depression is still stigmatized in some areas, and sufferers feel they must fight it alone. The counsellors of MGA are committed to seeing depression as an illness like any other, and one that needs the support of friends, family and the wider community to overcome it. It is important to be able to talk openly and honestly when depression hits home, so understanding can be increased, negative thinking challenged, and a course set for maximising resilience and the enjoyment of life.

Our mental health can be affected in ways others than depression. Anxiety is common to many of us. Burn out features heavily in the teaching and helping professions. And sometimes there’s just an awareness that something isn’t quite right.

If you’re concerned about your own mental health, or of somebody you love, make a time to speak with one of the MGA counsellors and start moving towards “life to the full”.

If you would like to participate in the next Mental Health Social Support course, and potentially help save the life of somebody suffering from a mental health problem, please visit the MHSS page.