We hear on a daily basis the financial cost to the economy of depression through lost productivity – a new report has suggested that this could be as a much as £651 billion globally. However we need to consider the other costs that are harder to measure but have a huge impact across all areas of the person’s life not just in the workplace.
When a person is depressed it can be triggered by life events such as loss etc. but also it can creep up. This is why it is so important to recognise the signs and the importance of early intervention.
So many people suffer in silence, thinking that the ‘fog’ will clear if they just give it a little more time things will get better. People worry about discussing how they feel, especially with their employer and loved ones, so they bury their head in the sand and try and carry on, hoping that people wont notice.
We all have a responsibility to recognise and intervene when a loved one, friend, work colleague is obviously struggling. It is important to recognise the signs that someone maybe experiencing the symptoms of depression.
Some of the symptoms to look out for:
· Not acting their usual self over a period of time.
· Low mood and displaying mood swings.
· Issues with sleep and looking fatigued.
· Lack of motivation both at home and work.
· Avoiding people and social situations / engagements
· Issues staying focused and engaged.
The above are examples of the some of the symptoms but this is by no means an exhaustive list. The important thing is that if you are experiencing any of the above or any of the other signs of depression that you:
· Speak to your GP to explore the different causes of depression & treatment.
· Speak to your partner, family, and friends – the people who are close to you.
· Your employer. Explore how they can support you through this period.
If someone you know is displaying the above:
It can be frightening and worrying to see someone you love experiencing depression. It can cause stress and uncertainty, not knowing the best thing to say or do. Depression is not a condition that people can just ‘snap out of’ or just ‘pull themselves together’ it needs to be treated by trained professionals but there are things that you can do to help them that are very effective and make the world of difference.
· Reach out to them and express your worry and concerns. Remember that they are the same person you have always loved but just need time and support to work through things.
· Explore how you can help and support them. There will be proactive things that you can do to support them, for example spending time together doing something that you both enjoy.
· Encourage them to seek help through trained professionals. Reassure them that this is not a sign of weakness or something to be embarrassed about. Depression is a treatable medical disorder that requires skilled and trained professional assistance in order to make a full recovery.
The below or a combination has proven effective in treating depression.
1. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is an evidenced based and practical therapy in helping provide individuals with coping strategies and techniques for managing and reframing thoughts.
2. Exercise and Diet – both are proven to lessen stress levels and improve mood.
3. Mindfulness – really useful in helping managing stress levels and bringing attention and focus into the ‘present’ moment.
4. Anti-depressants – if needed these will be prescribed by your GP and can prove effective when combined with a talking therapy such as CBT.
The importance of choosing the right therapist ?
I have worked and helped many, many clients over the years that have been in the grips of depression. I use a combination of the above and other approaches to find a treatment plan that is exactly suited to them. I know first hand the impact that depression can and does have in all areas of your live, so you will be working with someone who has experienced things both sides of the fence.
Choose a therapist that you feel you can work with - I cannot stress enough it is the strength of the therapeutic relationship combined with the therapy model that will bring about lasting change.