Feeling depressed is normal. Everyone goes through a bad patch from time to time, but these periods usually pass. However, if your despair drags on, you could be suffering with depression.

So how do you know and what can you do to get better?

What is depression?

While we all endure stressful episodes in our professional and personal lives, feeling depressed could be a sign of something more serious. Depression sufferers find that their symptoms have a serious effect on their daily lives.

Like other mental health conditions, depression is complex and can be caused by any number of physical, psychological or social factors. These are unique to every sufferer, but you can only start your journey to a happier life by understanding the causes of your depression.

What are the main causes of depression?

Before we tackle the symptoms of depression, we first need to look at the wide range of factors which can cause someone to feel depressed. These can include:

  • Loneliness 
  • Relationship issues
  • Stress (at work, financial trouble etc)
  • Physical illness
  • Poor lifestyle choices
  • Personality (anxiety, negativity, low self-esteem etc)
  • Childhood trauma 
  • Alcohol or drug abuse.

What are the symptoms of depression?

As we have mentioned, depression is a complex condition and can affect different people in different ways. The common symptoms listed below are also normal human emotions, but depression sufferers will experience stronger emotions over a longer period of time.

  • Mood swings: sadness; outbursts of anger, general irritability and even violence.
  • Lack of enthusiasm: losing interest in friends or hobbies.
  • Lack of energy: tiredness, aches and pains, and an inability to tackle daily tasks.
  • Helplessness: feeling that there’s nothing you can do to make things better.
  • Appetite: often seen as losing or gaining weight.
  • Sleep: insomnia or oversleeping.
  • Guilt: being overcritical of yourself.
  • Escapism: drug abuse, drinking, gambling etc.
  • Concentration: lack of focus and a poor memory.

Getting help with depression

With the right treatment and support, most people who suffer from depression go on to make a full recovery. Typical treatments include lifestyle changes, therapy and medicine. 

If you think that you are suffering from depression, you should seek the help and support of family and friends. This may not always be possible, so it is important that you get professional advice.

However, it is estimated that 75% of people with mental health problems in England may not have access to the help they need. 

Whether it’s accessing professional advice from a psychologist or the length of the local NHS waiting list, healthcare is too often a postcode lottery. Even when patients receive treatment, many feel their medication is trial and error.

Get an online depression test

Psychiatry-UK offers an alternative solution through its MindClinix brand. Our online depression test, powered by PREDICTIX, helps your doctor to assess and prescribe accurate, personalised treatment for you.

We specialise in dealing with the full range of mental health conditions. From the initial consultation through to diagnosis, treatment and on-going support – we will be with you every step of the way.

We don’t do memberships or annual contracts, you simply pay for the test and any consultations or support you require.

Our online depression test uses artificial intelligence to translate medical data into an easy-to-use assessment leading to the right medical treatment and on-going support.

Statistics show that 40% of patients waiting for mental health treatment are forced to resort to emergency or crisis services. We want to reverse this trend by helping you find a mental health treatment tailored to your needs.

Your mental health is our priority, and we understand that every situation can be complex and challenging. That is why we have designed a programme which includes your genetic, metabolic, demographic and clinical information.

If you feel that you are not ready to take the test, or simply prefer to talk to someone in person, we also offer you the option of having a consultation with one of our registered clinicians.

Reviewed by: Dr Adil Jawad, Consultant Psychiatrist (MBBS, DPM, FRCPsych)