Raising awareness for National Depression Awareness Week

In support of National Depression Awareness Week, 15 – 21 April, AFG’s Clinical Director of Mental Health Services, Dr Mike Smith delivered his 10 top tips on coping with depression on our Facebook and Twitter page.

Held every year in April by the Depression Alliance, Depression Awareness Week is a fantastic opportunity to raise awareness, and try to end the stigma associated with depression.

Depression is a common mental disorder, characterized by sadness, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, feelings of tiredness, and poor concentration.  Globally, more than 350 million people of all ages suffer from depression. One in five people will experience some form of depression at some point in their lives and more than 80% of people with depression can be helped with the appropriate information, support and treatment.

Getting the right advice and information at an early stage can make all the difference to a person’s recovery.

Top tips on coping with depression by Dr Mike Smith

  1. Treat yourself to a small pleasure.
  2. Eat well: mood foods high in tryptophan, an essential amino acid for the production of serotonin, which is the brain chemical which helps to regulate mood. Foods high in tryptophan include poultry, oil rich fish, beans, baked potatoes, oats, nuts and seeds. Avoid red meats.
  3. Make a list of the things you like doing and fulfil one activity each week. There is no happiness without activity.
  4. Use active words not passive.
  5. Don’t wait for a cure, find solutions. This is temporary.
  6. Make connections. Connectedness and relationships with others are key to your recovery.
  7. Depression is the new word for sadness, so what do you do when you are feeling sad?
  8. Take part in regular exercise – walking, dancing, cycling
  9. Learn how to express how you regard your depression, for example through a collage
  10.  Have regular breaks and listen to your body.

For more information on the national Depression Awareness Week campaign please visit http://www.depressionalliance.org/

More information on our mental health services

Learn more about AFG on our Facebook page ‘AFG Support’ or our Twitter page @AFGSupport