Healthy living * Mental wellbeing

Three-quarters of Brits suffer depression

Most don't get help

Three quarters of people in the UK suffer from depression occasionally or regularly, but only a third seek help, according to a new poll for mental health charity Turning Point.

Women are more likely to feel depressed than men, with 80% saying they regularly or occasionally feel depressed.

Money is the biggest cause of depression, with more than half of people saying they have been depressed about money over the past 12 months.

Men are particularly likely to link their depression to the recession, whereas women are more affected by family or relationships.

And the combination of Christmas credit card bills and cold weather only help to make people feel worse at this time of year.

Zelda Peters, director for mental health at Turning Point said that its vital even mild depression is identified and treated early, before it spirals out of control.

“We know that if diagnosed early mild depression can be successfully treated.

"If not, it can escalate and lead to unemployment or long term sickness, and even to negative behaviours such as drinking more, missing work or college and lying to family and friends,” she said.

One in three people in the survey said they hadn’t sought professional help as they felt they could cope on their own, and 1 in 5 said they were too embarassed. Others were concerned about confidentality.

People also put off seeking treatments because they feel they won't work.

“Whilst anti-depressants provide the right solution for some, others are worried about taking them and don’t realise there are a huge range of treatments beyond this on offer such as psychological therapies which provide effective long term relief,” Ms. Peters said.

If anyone is feeling low or depressed on a regular basis, help is available, it’s easy to access and does not involve a prescription."

This article was published on Mon 1 February 2010



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