In recent times, the issue of depression has been getting a lot of attention on social media and in the press. Even public figures, like 'The Voice Of Ireland' coach Niall Breslin (A.K.A Bressie), have spoken out publicly about their experiences with mental health issues. Depression affects many of us during different stages of our lives. It doesn't discriminate by age, background or gender... it can affect anyone.
According to Aware (An Irish organisation that tackles mental health issues), depression has eight main symptoms.
The Symptoms of Depression are:
• Feeling sad, anxious or bored
• Low energy, tiredness or fatigue
• Under-sleeping or over-sleeping, waking frequently during the night
• Poor concentration, thinking slowed down
• Loss of interest in hobbies, family or social life
• Low self-esteem and feelings of guilt
• Aches and pains with no physical basis - e.g. chest, head or tummy pain - associated with anxiety or stress
• Loss of interest in living, thinking about death, suicidal thoughts
So, if you notice a friend (or yourself) exhibiting some of these symptoms for more than a week or two, you might suggest speaking to a GP or mental health professional.
Bressie (mentioned above) has set up a website called 'My 1000 Hours', which concentrates on holistic fitness and the importance of our mental and emotional health. According to the website:
"My1000Hours aims to help bring clarity to the subject, exploring ways we can improve both our emotional and physical fitness. My1000Hours will also serve as an online support blog for those hoping to challenge themselves and require some guidance. This can be anything from a 5k run to an Ironman, from learning guitar or a new language. The same tools and principles apply."
Bressie gave a very brave and honest account of his experiences with anxiety, panic attacks and depression last year and spoke about methods that helped him deal with those issues. These included motivation techniques, goal-setting and relaxation exercises.