The tragic death of movie star, Robin Williams is unfortunately a reminder of the amount of people who are suffering from depression in silence, according to mental health charity Aware Defeat Depression.
Whilst it is not yet confirmed, it is believed that the actor died by suicide following a battle with severe depression. Depression is a lonely illness and one which should be taken seriously as soon as the signs and symptoms are recognised.
Siobhan Doherty, Chief Executive of Aware Defeat Depression, said she was extremely saddened to hear about the death of Robin Williams and has urged people to become familiar with the signs and symptoms of depression so that they recognise any changes not just within themselves, but within their friends, family and work colleagues.
“Currently there are 13% of adults in Northern Ireland living with a diagnosis of depression. These statistics are for people who have been diagnosed with depression following a visit to their GP and it is likely that the number of people who are living with undiagnosed depression is much higher.
“Symptoms such as an unusually sad mood that doesn’t go away, loss of enjoyment and interest in activities that used to be enjoyable and tiredness and lack of energy are very common signs of depression. If these last longer than two weeks then we would urge people to visit their GP.
“We are here to help people during their recovery from depression. We run a network of support groups throughout Northern Ireland. These groups provide an opportunity for people to meet others with similar experiences and allows group members to speak freely about how they are feeling, share information, discuss options and support each other to move forward.
“Our Living Life to The Full (LLTTF) programme is based on the concepts of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. It focuses on our thinking, behaviour and feelings. When we are experiencing low mood, stress or depression we tend to think and behave in unhelpful ways and can get caught in a vicious circle which can make us feel worse physically and mentally. LLTTF helps us to make simple changes to both thinking and behaviour in order to turn the vicious circle into a virtuous one.
“It is important to remember that whilst depression is a very lonely illness, you do not have to feel alone as Aware Defeat Depression are here to help and support you every step of the way. Our helpline is open from 9am – 1pm Monday to Friday, please call on 08451 20 29 61.”