When people are depressed, they often find it hard to believe that any treatment will help. They can feel so helpless and hopeless, they cannot imagine ever improving.

The sooner someone seeks help and accepts treatment, the sooner the depression has a chance to improve.

There are no physical tests for depression. A GP may still wish to examine a patient to rule out any other underlying physical reason for their symptoms. They may also do some blood and urine tests.

When someone is suffering depression, it can be extremely difficult to deal with any one face to face. Often, the thought of sitting before a Doctor and talking about personal symptoms of depression can feel frightening or even embarrassing; anyone ever experiencing depression feels the same. The GP is used to this. Unfortunately, they see it all too often.

Try to be as open and honest with the Doctor. Sometimes writing a few notes can help you keep track. This is something the GP see’s all the time, so try not to feel embarrassed. It’s important you take your time. A good GP will be completely empathetic to your position

If you find the thought of discussing your symptoms too difficult and really don’t know what to say, don’t worry, this is something the GP will understand. You would only need to say the words, “I think I am depressed”, and a GP would talk you through a simple assessment.

Road to Recovery

Just as symptoms differ in individual people, so are the many “roads to recovery”.What works for one, doesn't necessarily work for another.Some experts believe, the best approach comes from a combination of social support, lifestyle changes, professional help, therapy, and emotional skill building.

If you recognise symptoms of depression, take time to seek education regarding what type and what treatments are available.

The healthy lifestyle changes that can aid recovery would include

· Cultivating supportive relationships
· Get regular exercise & a good sleep pattern
· Eat healthily
· Manage stress levels
· Practice relaxation techniques, meditation, yoga and even prayer

The Depression Forum

The whole journey through depression can feel lonely and completely alien. The Depression Forum is a great place to read other people’s experiences. There is a chance to post and ask other member’s advice or just share stories. The members of the Depression Forum find it an invaluable source of information and support.