What causes depression?
The exact cause of depression is unknown. For some people it can occur for no apparent reason. Others can pinpoint a trigger such as a difficult life event, a bad time in their past or some sort of trauma. It can sometimes run in families. Whatever the cause, it is important to remember that depression can be as debilitating an illness as cancer or diabetes.
Half of all people affected don't seek help
Estimates suggest nearly 1 in 5 of us will experience depression at some point in our lives. This means 1,250,000 people living in Scotland will be affected. Potentially 500,000 Scots are currently experiencing varying symptoms of depression and half of these will not have any help or support.
The World Health Organization predicts that depression will soon be the second biggest cause of ill health world-wide.
How can I tell I have depression?
Your doctor can professionally diagnose depression. They will talk to you about the signs and symptoms and they may also ask you further questions about your life and mood and how you are coping.
If you think you are affected, why not find out about the symptoms of depression and how depression can affect you on our website? If you notice some of these changes to your body, moods, emotions, or thoughts have been affecting you for longer than two weeks with no easily identifiable reason, It's a good idea to get help. The website will also help you find out more about how depression can be treated.
To get an idea of whether you have depression, take our depression self-test (PHQ9).
Support for depression
We offer support services to help treat depression. You can email us to find out how we can help you, or to learn of services in your local area. Our local self-help groups offer a way of sharing positive ways of overcoming depression.
We also provide practical assistance through our community life-skills courses which are based on cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). Though it may sound complicated, CBT is a way of looking at how we can best react to various circumstances. Our free CBT online course can be completed in your own home with phone support and so is available for people in any part of Scotland.
Find out more about current issues, campaigns and what’s happening on our website by subscribing to our e-bulletin.