As it's World Mental Health Day and mixed anxiety and depression are noted as the most common mental disorders in Britain, we have some expert advice on hand. 

Health on Female First

Health on Female First

According to the Mental Health Foundation, 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience some kind of mental health problem, and getting the right advice could prove lucrative. 

Dr Tom Stevens, Consultant Psychiatrist at London Bridge Hospital shares his advice on depression

How do you spot the warning signs that either you or a loved one might be suffering from depression?

"Depression can present in different ways in different personalities. However, most people will lose their general enthusiasm for life, reduce their social activities, and may appear more unhappy, tired and inattentive". 

When and how would you recommend seeking help?

"Depression can often get better by itself. The first step should be to discuss the problem with those closest to you. The extra support from those who you trust can often be helpful while waiting for things to get better. However if the problem is starting to impact on relationships and work or has been going on for some time then it is worth seeking help. The first step in these circumstances should be your general practitioner. If depression is starting to lead to you feeling that life is not worth living and you are fearful that you might do something then it is important to get help as soon as possible". 

What treatment options are available for depression? 

"As with many health issues, the main treatment options involve lifestyle, talk and tablets. Much depends on how serious the problem is and the extent to which you can get on with your life. Many people will benefit from an opportunity to talk with an experienced professional such as a psychologist. More disabling depression often needs medication". 

Are antidepressants commonly prescribed? How do they work and what side effects are associated with them? 

"Depression is a common disease and antidepressants are commonly prescribed. There are many different types of antidepressants with different associated side effects. Some antidepressants can cause nausea and agitation initially and others can cause weight gain and sedation. The type of antidepressant should be discussed with your doctor". 

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