• African Mental Health First Aid

Lesson 2: The difference between ‘feeling low’ and depression

Lesson List
Unit 1: Introduction
In this first unit we will broadly look at what depression is and the typical experiences a person has when they are going through depression. This will lead us on to behaviours that may show when people are depressed as well as some of the main factors that can trigger depression such as genetic, biochemical, psychological and behavioural causes.
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Unit 2: The face of depression
During this part of the course we will move on to look at the symptoms of depression and how people can show signs of being depressed. The unit will cover various areas such as feelings of guilt, fear, hypercriticism and isolation.
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Unit 3: How depression affects people
Depression, at its most severe, can have a devastating effect on individuals and their ability to live their life in a way which is fulfilling and meaningful. In this unit we will look at how depression affects individuals in a number of ways including physically, behaviourally and cognitively.
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Unit 4: Effects of depression on others
Not only does depression affect the sufferer, it also has an impact on those closest to them. Here we look at how depression impacts the lives of family and friends that are closest to the person and the various impacts depression can have on a life. These will include family strain, daily life demands, Seasonal Affective Disorder, financial issues and physical health.
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Unit 5: Resources and treatments
In this final unit we will look at resources and treatments that people with depression can access. A wide variety of resources and advice are available to people with depression and understanding how to access these is vital for recovery.
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Lesson: Lesson 2: The difference between ‘feeling low’ and depression
Overview
Exercise Files
About Lesson

There are some major differences between someone whose mood is low and someone who has clinical depression.

Feeling Low (Low Mood)

Depression

The individual is sad for a short time but can see hope in their future and will eventually come to terms with what is causing their low mood.

Depression continues for weeks or even months and the individual feels doomed and can see no hope for their future.

The individual seeks help to overcome the problem as it is only seen as a short-term issue.

The individual will sometimes be reluctant to seek help as they feel that there is ‘no point’ due to the hopelessness of their situation.

The individual is usually aware of the cause of their low mood.

Depression sometimes arises with no identifiable cause and this can make it more difficult to deal with because resolution can only come about when the cause has been acknowledged.

The individual can usually be ‘cheered up’ with some persuasion by those who know them well.

The depression is ingrained and the individual cannot be talked out of their feelings.

Low mood does not usually cause physical changes in the individual.

Depression can cause an individual to experience physical changes such as disrupted sleeping patterns, gaining or losing weight and being more susceptible to minor illnesses such as colds.

Feeling Low (Low Mood)

Depression

Low mood does not normally cause an individual to experience thoughts of self-harm.

An individual who has depression is more likely to self-harm and have suicidal thoughts.

If an individual has low mood, they can usually get through their day without too much disruption to their normal activities.

Depression causes major changes to someone’s routine, often meaning they cannot go to work. Sometimes, serious depression means that someone cannot even face getting out of bed.

Many people fear that they have depression when, in fact, they are simply going through a period of low mood that will resolve itself either with or without help from others.

However, sometimes a person has depression and does not realise it, simply thinking that they are feeling sad and that they will ‘get over it’ in time. Undiagnosed depression can have a severe and debilitating effect on someone’s ability to live a normal life, so it is essential that anyone who thinks that their mood is having an effect on their life seeks professional advice so that support and treatment can be given if necessary.

Exercise Files
Lesson List
Unit 1: Introduction
In this first unit we will broadly look at what depression is and the typical experiences a person has when they are going through depression. This will lead us on to behaviours that may show when people are depressed as well as some of the main factors that can trigger depression such as genetic, biochemical, psychological and behavioural causes.
0/5
Unit 2: The face of depression
During this part of the course we will move on to look at the symptoms of depression and how people can show signs of being depressed. The unit will cover various areas such as feelings of guilt, fear, hypercriticism and isolation.
0/2
Unit 3: How depression affects people
Depression, at its most severe, can have a devastating effect on individuals and their ability to live their life in a way which is fulfilling and meaningful. In this unit we will look at how depression affects individuals in a number of ways including physically, behaviourally and cognitively.
0/4
Unit 4: Effects of depression on others
Not only does depression affect the sufferer, it also has an impact on those closest to them. Here we look at how depression impacts the lives of family and friends that are closest to the person and the various impacts depression can have on a life. These will include family strain, daily life demands, Seasonal Affective Disorder, financial issues and physical health.
0/5
Unit 5: Resources and treatments
In this final unit we will look at resources and treatments that people with depression can access. A wide variety of resources and advice are available to people with depression and understanding how to access these is vital for recovery.
0/5
No questions yet
Describe what you're trying to achieve and where you're getting stuck
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