http://who.int/campaigns/world-health-day/2017/en/

 

What is depression?

  • Depression is an illness characterized by persistent sadness and a loss of interest in activities that you normally enjoy, accompanied by an inability to carry out daily activities, for at least two weeks.
  • In addition, people with depression normally have several of the following: a loss of energy; a change in appetite; sleeping more or less; anxiety; reduced concentration; indecisiveness; restlessness; feelings of worthlessness, guilt, or hopelessness; and thoughts of self-harm or suicide.
  • Something that can happen to anybody.
  • Not a sign of weakness.
  • Treatable, with talking therapies or antidepressant medication or a combination of these.

What you can do if you think you are depressed

  • Talk to someone you trust about your feelings. Most people feel better after talking to someone who cares about them.
  • Seek professional help. Your local health-care worker or doctor is a good place to start.
  • Remember that with the right help, you can get better.
  • Keep up with activities that you used to enjoy when you were well.
  • Stay connected. Keep in contact with family and friends.
  • Exercise regularly, even if it’s just a short walk.
  • Stick to regular eating and sleeping habits.
  • Accept that you might have depression and adjust your expectations. You may not be able to accomplish as much as you do usually.
  • Avoid or restrict alcohol intake and refrain from using illicit drugs; they can worsen depression.
  • If you feel suicidal, contact someone for help immediately.

Remember: Depression can be treated. If you think you have depression, seek help.

Worried about the future? Preventing depression during your teens and twenties

2016-2017

Adolescence and young adulthood present many opportunities – for meeting new people, visiting new places and finding a direction in life. These years can also be a time of stress. If you are feeling overwhelmed rather than excited by these challenges, read on.

What you should know

  • Depression is an illness characterized by persistent sadness and a loss of interest in activities that you normally enjoy, accompanied by an inability to carry out daily activities, for at least two weeks.
  • In addition, people with depression normally have several of the following: a loss of energy; a change in appetite; sleeping more or less; anxiety; reduced concentration; indecisiveness; restlessness; feelings of worthlessness, guilt, or hopelessness; and thoughts of self-harm or suicide.
  • Much can be done to prevent and treat depression.

What you can do if you are feeling down, or think you may be depressed

  • Talk to someone you trust about your feelings.
  • Seek professional help. Your local health-care worker or doctor is a good place to start.
  • Stay connected. Keep in contact with family and friends.
  • Exercise regularly, even if it’s just a short walk.
  • Stick to regular eating and sleeping habits.
  • Avoid or restrict alcohol intake and refrain from using illicit drugs; they can worsen depression.
  • Continue doing things you have always enjoyed, even when you don’t feel like it.
  • Be aware of persistent negative thoughts and self-criticism and try to replace them with positive thoughts. Congratulate yourself on your achievements.

Remember: There is a lot that you can do to keep mentally strong. If you feel that you may be heading for depression, talk to someone you trust or seek professional help.

Worried that your child is depressed?

2016-2017

Growing up is full of challenge and opportunity ̶ starting and changing school, making new friends, going through puberty and preparing for exams … Some children take change in their stride. For others, adaptation is harder, causing stress and even depression. If you are worried that your child might be depressed, read on.

What you should know

  • Depression is an illness characterized by persistent sadness and a loss of interest in activities that you normally enjoy, accompanied by an inability to carry out daily activities, for at least two weeks.
  • Additional signs and symptoms of depression during childhood include withdrawal from others, irritability, excessive crying, difficulty concentrating at school, a change in appetite or sleeping more or less.
  • Younger children may lose interest in play. Older children may take risks that they would not normally take.
  • Depression is both preventable and treatable.

What you can do if you think your child might be depressed

  • Talk to him or her about things happening at home, at school and outside of school. Try to find out whether anything is bothering him or her.
  • Talk to people you trust who know your child.
  • Seek advice from your health-care provider.
  • Protect your child from excessive stress, maltreatment and violence.
  • Pay particular attention to your child’s wellbeing during life changes such as starting a new school or puberty.
  • Encourage your child to get enough sleep, eat regularly, be physically active, and to do things that he or she enjoys.
  • Make time to spend with your child.
  • If your child has thoughts of harming him- or herself, or has already done so, seek help from a trained professional immediately.

Remember: If you think your child might be depressed, talk to him or her about any worries or concerns, and seek professional help if needed.

Living with someone with depression?

2016-2017

Living with someone with depression can be difficult. Here are some tips on what you can do to help someone you live with who is depressed, while taking care of yourself at the same time.

What you should know

  • Depression is an illness and not a character weakness.
  • Depression can be treated. What treatment is best and how long the depression lasts depend on the severity of the depression.
  • The support of carers, friends and family facilitates recovery from depression. Patience and perseverance is needed, as recovery can take time.
  • Stress can make depression worse.

What you can do for people who are depressed

  • Make it clear that you want to help, listen without judgement, and offer support.
  • Find out more about depression.
  • Encourage them to seek professional help when available. Offer to accompany them to appointments.
  • If medication is prescribed, help them to take it as prescribed. Be patient; it usually takes a few weeks to feel better.
  • Help them with everyday tasks and to have regular eating and sleeping patterns.
  • Encourage regular exercise and social activities.
  • Encourage them to focus on the positive, rather than the negative.
  • If they are thinking about self-harm, or have already intentionally harmed themselves, do not leave them alone. Seek further help from the emergency services or a health-care professional. In the meantime, remove items such as medications, sharp objects and firearms.
  • Take care of yourself too. Try to find ways to relax and continue doing things you enjoy.

Remember: When you live with someone with depression, you can help them recover, but you need to take care of yourself too.

Wondering why your new baby is not making you happy?

2016-2017

Having a baby is a major life event and can cause worry, tiredness and sadness. Usually these feelings don’t last long, but if they persist you may be suffering from depression. For more information, read on.

What you should know

  • Depression following childbirth is very common. It affects 1 in 6 women who have given birth. Depression is an illness characterized by persistent sadness and a loss of interest in activities that you normally enjoy, accompanied by an inability to carry out daily activities, for at least two weeks.
  • In addition, people with depression normally have several of the following: a loss of energy; a change in appetite; sleeping more or less; anxiety; reduced concentration; indecisiveness; restlessness; feelings of worthlessness, guilt, or hopelessness; and thoughts of self-harm or suicide.
  • Symptoms of depression after childbirth also include: a feeling of being overwhelmed; persistent crying for no apparent reason; lack of bonding with your baby; and doubt about being able to care for yourself and your baby.
  • Depression after childbirth can be treated with professional help. Talking treatments and medicines can help. Some medicines can be taken safely while breastfeeding.
  • Without treatment, depression following childbirth can last for months or even years. It can affect your health and the development of your baby.

What you can do if you think you have depression

  • Discuss your feelings with people close to you and ask them for support. They might be able to help you look after the baby when you need some time to yourself or to rest.
  • Stay connected by spending time with family and friends.
  • Get out in the open air when you can. In safe environments, taking your baby for a walk is good for both of you.
  • Talk with other mothers who may have advice or be able to share experiences.
  • Talk to your health-care provider. He or she can help you find the treatment that is most appropriate to your situation.
  • If you have thoughts of harming yourself or your baby, seek help immediately.

Remember: Depression after childbirth is very common. If you think you may be affected, seek help.

Staying positive and preventing depression as you get older

2016-2017

The life changes that come with ageing can lead to depression. To learn more about preventing and treating depression in older age, read on.

What you should know

  • Depression is an illness characterized by persistent sadness and a loss of interest in activities that you normally enjoy, accompanied by an inability to carry out daily activities, for at least two weeks.
  • In addition, people with depression normally have several of the following: a loss of energy; a change in appetite; sleeping more or less; anxiety; reduced concentration; indecisiveness; restlessness; feelings of worthlessness, guilt, or hopelessness; and thoughts of self-harm or suicide.
  • Depression is common in older people but often overlooked and untreated.
  • Depression among older people is often associated with physical conditions, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes or chronic pain; difficult life events, such as losing a partner; and a reduced ability to do things that were possible when younger.
  • Older people are at a high risk of suicide.
  • Depression is treatable, with talking therapies or antidepressant medication or a combination of these.

What you can do if you are feeling down, or think you may be depressed

  • Talk to someone you trust about your feelings.
  • If you think you are depressed, seek professional help. Your local health-care worker or doctor is a good place to start.
  • Keep up with activities that you have always enjoyed, or find alternatives if previous activities are no longer possible.
  • Stay connected. Keep in contact with family and friends.
  • Eat at regular intervals and get enough sleep.
  • Exercise regularly if you can, even if it’s just a short walk.
  • Avoid or restrict alcohol intake and only take medicine as prescribed by your health-care provider.

Remember: There is a lot that can be done to prevent, and treat, depression in older age.

Do you know someone who may be considering suicide?

2016-2017

Every 40 seconds, someone, somewhere in the world, dies by suicide. For people with severe depression, it is not uncommon to think about suicide.

What you should know if you are worried about someone

  • Suicides are preventable.
  • It is okay to talk about suicide.
  • Asking about suicide does not provoke the act of suicide. It often reduces anxiety and helps people feel understood.

Warning signs that someone may be seriously thinking about suicide

  • Threatening to kill oneself.
  • Saying things like “No-one will miss me when I am gone.”
  • Looking for ways to kill oneself, such as seeking access to pesticides, firearms or medication, or browsing the internet for means of taking one’s own life.
  • Saying goodbye to close family members and friends, giving away of valued possessions, or writing a will.

Who is at risk of suicide?

  • People who have previously tried to take their own life.
  • Someone with depression or an alcohol or drug problem.
  • Those who are suffering from severe emotional distress, for example following the loss of a loved one or a relationship break-up.
  • People suffering from chronic pain or illness.
  • People who have experienced war, violence, trauma, abuse or discrimination.
  • Those who are socially isolated.

What you can do

  • Find an appropriate time and a quiet place to talk about suicide with the person you are worried about. Let them know that you are there to listen.
  • Encourage the person to seek help from a professional, such as a doctor, mental health professional, counsellor or social worker. Offer to accompany them to an appointment.
  • If you think the person is in immediate danger, do not leave him or her alone. Seek professional help from the emergency services, a crisis line, or a health-care professional, or turn to family members.
  • If the person you are worried about lives with you, ensure that he or she does not have access to means of self-harm (for example pesticides, firearms or medication) in the home.
  • Stay in touch to check how the person is doing.

Remember: If you know someone who may be considering suicide, talk to them about it. Listen with an open mind and offer your support.

Do you feel like life is not worth living?

2016-2017

If you sometimes feel that life seems so hard that it is no longer worth living, read on.

What you might be thinking or feeling

  • The pain seems overwhelming and unbearable.
  • You feel hopeless, like there is no point in living.
  • You are consumed by negative and disturbing thoughts.
  • You cannot imagine any solution to your problems other than suicide.
  • You imagine death as a relief.
  • You think everyone would be better off without you.
  • You feel worthless.
  • You feel very lonely even when you have friends and family.
  • You do not understand why you are feeling or thinking this way.

What you need to remember

  • You are not alone. Many other people have gone through what you are going through and are alive today.
  • It is okay to talk about suicide. It can help you feel better.
  • Having an episode of self-harm or suicidal thoughts or plans is a sign of severe emotional distress (perhaps as a result of the loss of a loved one, loss of employment, a relationship break-up, or experience of violence or abuse). You are not to blame and it can happen to anyone.
  • You can get better.
  • There are people who can help you.

What you can do

  • Talk to a trusted family member, friend, or colleague about how you feel.
  • If you think you are in immediate danger of harming yourself contact the emergency services or a crisis line, or go there directly.
  • Talk to a professional, such as a doctor, mental health professional, counsellor or social worker.
  • If you practice a religion, talk to someone from your religious community who you trust.
  • Join a self-help or support group for people with lived experience of self-harm. You can help each other to feel better.

Remember: If you feel like life is not worth living, reach out for help. You are not alone. Help is available.

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