What is depression?
“…..a loss of interest and enjoyment in ordinary things and experiences…low mood and a range of associated emotional, cognitive, physical and behavioural symptoms.”
National Clinical Practice (NICE 2007)
- Low mood is common and often an understandable reaction to unhappy experiences
- Low mood is one symptom of depression, it usually resolves itself but can persist for over one year. This is usually:
Feeling sad, miserable and/or irritable
Lack of enjoyment in life
Low in energy or ‘tired all the time’
Lasts at least 2 weeks
Increase self-harm risks
What can we notice about:-
The signs and symptoms of depression?
Attitudes and thinking – things a depressed person might say
Possible risk factors and triggers for depression
How a person with depression may present at home?
How a young person with depression may present at school?
Mood Scaling – On a scale of 0 to 10 with 0 being so miserable you can’t get out of bed and 10 being completely happy
Where are you now?
Most of the time, at home, at school/college?
Are you ever higher? When? Who with?
Are you ever lower? When? Who with?
Do you ever think about not being here? ( Be specific because they may interpret not being here as running away rather than harming themselves)
What have you thought about doing? ( possibly ask about a plan at this point)When do you think about it? When did you last think about it? Are you still feeling like this? What would be a good place to be? How would you get there? What help do you need to get there?
This is not an evidence based assessment just a guide to ascertain mood and risk and resilience.
Depression – warning signs and when to worry
There are lots of very helpful videos by Pooky Knightsmith on YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCouKr8JeXinK6v_nf5dWA1A
How to start helping….
Give reassurance and information:-
Help the person to realise that:-
A real medical condition
Depression is a common illness
Not weakness or a character defect
Effective treatment available
Effective help is available
Depression will get better faster with right help