Self-Management Resources

There are several ways to promote better mental health.

Learn how to help yourself and manage your depression.

Read about self-management and take the self-test

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What you need to know about depression

Depression is a common illness worldwide, with more than 300 million people affected. Depression is different from usual mood fluctuations and short-lived emotional responses to challenges in everyday life. Depression results from a complex interaction of social, psychological and biological factors. (World Health Organization, WHO, 2017).

Depression is an illness that involves not only the mind or brain but the whole body, affecting the way a person eats, sleeps, feels about himself or herself, and thinks about things. It is not a passing, normal, state of mind and it is neither a sign of personal weakness nor a condition that one can "snap out of".

In general, depression can affect anyone: men and women from all backgrounds, in all professions, and at all stages of life. Even people whose lives seem carefree and contented can experience depression.

Depression can be treated. If you think you have depression, seek help.

Information for all

What is depression?

What you need to know about depression: depression is a real illness; depression is a serious condition; depression is not stress or merely feeling unwell; depression is not simply a psychological disorder...

 

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About depression

When you say you feel depressed, on many occasions you mean that you feel blue or feel low because something is worrying you. Most of us can feel sad sometimes, but this does not mean you have depression.

 

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Signs and symptoms

Depression is an illness that involves not only the mind or brain but the whole body, affecting the way a person eats, sleeps, feels about himself or herself, and thinks about things. It is not a passing, normal, state of mind and it is neither a sign of personal weakness nor a condition that one can "snap out of".

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Diagnosing depression

A diagnosis is a medical label that clarifies the course of the illness and implications for treatment. Throughout the world, different systems of disease classifications are used for diagnoses. In Europe, the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) of the World Health Organisation 10th revision is the most common.

 

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Subtypes of depression

Though common, there are different types of depression, which can take different courses. Signs and symptoms vary in number, timing, severity, and persistence, but on the whole they are quite similar. As different subtypes of depression may require different treatments, your doctor will want to identify which type is affecting you. There are also differences in how individuals experience depression and express symptoms in accordance with age, gender, and culture.

Many names have been used to describe different forms of depression: neurotic, reactive or minor depression are common clinical names and are said to be of psychological nature and treatable mainly through psychotherapy. On the other hand, somatic and psychotic depression are associated with chemical imbalances and are medically treatable. These are terms mainly used by mental health professionals.

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Causes

A negative event such as the loss of a loved one, losing a job, or suffering from a severe somatic illness – or severe and prolonged stress, can sometimes trigger a depressive episode but sometimes depression will occur spontaneously without any obvious cause.

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Treatment for depression

There are three main types of treatment for depression: medical, psychological, and social. Management of depression often involves a combination of treatments.

 

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iFightDepression Tool

The iFightDepression tool is an online, guided self-management programme that aims to help individuals with mild to moderate depression to self-manage their symptoms. If your GP or healthcare professional referred you to access to the iFightDepression tool and you have a personal user account, you can log in here:

 

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SEARCHING FOR HELP WITH DEPRESSION

is an important first step

iFightDepression is a project financed and implemented by: