If you are living with depression yourself, or know someone who is, then you are not alone. In the UK in 2014 19.7% of people aged 16 and over showed symptoms of anxiety or depression.  

This leads to unhappiness, workplace absenteeism, and general feelings of sadness and not being able to go about life as normal.  At its extremes depression can be completely debilitating. 

The team at Citizen Counselling can provide one to one support in person for Beating Stress, from our Counselling Centres in central Birmingham and Jewellery Quarter or via secure phone or video  link. We use a secure web based service similar and as easy to use as Skype but with additional security and encryption features. We don’t provide a crisis service but this is provided by others the contacts of which you will find in the questions below.

What is depression?

Depression affects people in different ways and can cause a wide variety of symptoms including loss of appetite, poor sleep and feelings of impending doom, feelings of worthlessness. Others range from lasting feelings of unhappiness and hopelessness, to losing interest in the things you used to enjoy and feeling very tearful. Many people with depression also have symptoms of anxiety.

Is depression different from anxiety?

Depression and anxiety often are experience together but they are different conditions.

Depression is more to do with persistent feelings of low mood or sadness. A lot of people with depression also experience anxiety at times and worry about the future.

Anxiety can be a reaction to stress and worries, phobia related or even be a panic disorder. You can be anxious without having depression.

What are the symptoms of depression?

Symptoms can vary but generally can include a loss of appetite, sleeping poorly(feeling tired as a result), feelings of impending doom, lasting feelings of unhappiness and hopelessness, osing interest in the things you used to enjoy and feeling very tearful.

Is there a test to see if I have depression?

Doctors use a couple of tests; the PHQ9 (patient health questionnaire 9) and the GADD7 (general anxiety disorder) both of these allow a scoring of general mood and ability, or lack of ability. Score in double figures on both can indicate a degree of depression and anxiety.

How can depression be treated?

Depression tends to be treated in two ways; psychological therapies inciuding counselling and CBT – cognitive behaviour therapy or by prescription medicines known as anti-depressants. The most prescribed anti-depressant drugs are citalopram and fluoxetine. 

Psychological therapies and antidepressants have both been found useful for some patients with mild symptoms been effectively treated through CBT.

What can Citizen do to help with depression?

Citizen provides CBT and Counselling to adults and young people over 14 years of age. We have over 30 counsellors who can help. They are available for appointments 7 days a week 8am to 8pm. Simply call the office on 0121 314 7075 to find the right counsellor for you.

Those 14-25 who are registered with a GP in Birmingham and live in the area can access free counselling form Citizen in Birmingham from our Jewellery Quarter or Digbeth locations. This is due to our relationship with Living Well UK and Forward Thinking Birmingham.

Over 25’s, or those out of the area, or under 14 can get free support though their GP. If you are employed your company might have a free counselling programme via BUPA, AXA or another provider

Who can I talk to if I feel like self-harming or acting on suicidal thoughts?

Citizen isn’t a crisis service but the following services may be able to help.

Samaritans – 116 123 

CALM men’s helpline – 0800 58 58 58 

Papyrus Hopeline – preventing young suicide – 0800 068 41 41

You can also get help form your GP or local Crisis mental health teams at A&E.

Depression statistics in paragraph one from Evans, J., Macrory, I., & Randall, C. (2016). Measuring national wellbeing: Life in the UK, 2016. Antidepressant information from nhs.uk/news/medication/big-new-study-confirms-antidepressants-work-better-placebo/

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