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Depression is a problem that is affecting more and more people around the world because of lack of employment and the rising cost of living. Obesity and depression are easily linked because it causes low self esteem - but in actual fact exercise may help.

What is depression?

Depression is much more than simply feeling low, we all have days when we wake up and want to stay in bed or just roll over and hide away from the day. But people who suffer from depression have this feeling EVERY day and they go through spells of feeling persistently sad for many weeks or months. Also the important difference between a low day and periods of depression is that sufferers have sever sadness rather than just a feeling of an off day. Many people still see this as a trivial concern and one that people should snap out of but it this is wrong. 

It is a real illness with real symptoms and it is most definitely not a sign of weakness so anyone who thinks they may be suffering needs to see their GP or doctor to get assessed as there are many different treatments - exercise being just one of them.

There are many complex symptoms that can be linked to depression but some of the below are possible psychological or physiological symptoms:

  • continuous sadness
  • feeling hopeless
  • tearful
  • guilt-ridden
  • moving/speaking slowly
  • change in appetite
  • unexplained aches and pains

What are the leading causes of depression?

Depression isn't caused by one single cause or problem it is usually developed through a range of causes and has different triggers for everyone. For some a stressful event or life event (bereavement) can put people into what we call a "downward spiral" where one cause leads to another and that in turn leads to depression. For example, a long term illness causing you to feel low and then being unable to work and becoming unemployed could trigger depression. For the most part people are able to deal with such events but you put yourself at a higher risk if you stop seeing friends and family if you isolate yourself, so keeping in contact with loved ones at a traumatic time is very important.

Who is most at risk?

Although anyone can suffer from this problem there are certain groups who are at a higher risk of developing depression than others - but this doesn't mean they will. As you age it is shown that you are at a greater risk because as your life changes this can cause stress.

Sufferers of long term illnesses such as cancer or coronary heart disease are at the highest risk because they are usually result in extreme tiredness, mood swings and general low feeling.

Having these feelings for a prolonged duration will sometimes trigger depression.

Some personality groups are more vulnerable to depression as well - those with traits of low self esteem or overly critical. Family history can increase your risk because if a parent or sibling has suffered with this disorder then you are more likely to. Post natal depression is very common among new mothers because the stressful life event can present a range of mixed emotions along with physical changes. And finally alcohol and drug abuse are very common risk factors to lead to depression because of the addiction leading to other life problems such as lack of money and employment.

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