.Interviewed by Gurminder for Doctify

Doctify spoke to Alexander Hedger on the very real issue of mental health and asked him to explain ways of spotting, combating and dealing with depression.

Alex has significant experience in using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to work with clients experiencing a wide range of difficulties. As well as being an accredited Cognitive Behavioural Therapist Alex has managed a number of healthcare teams and also worked within the academic field.

What is the most common mental health problem in the UK?

The most common mental health problem in the UK is depression. However anxiety disorders such as OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), trauma and phobias are close behind with a growing number affecting people in the UK.

What triggers depression?

There are many individual factors that the risk of experiencing depression.  It’s generally thought that a  combination of genetic factors, psychological factors and social situations can make us more or less likely to experience depression. With early intervention through CBT therapy, patients have a better chance of a steady recovery. Some simple methods of reducing the risk of depression include quickly problem solving stressful life situations (such as managing workload), focusing on the way you think about life (for example noticing if your thinking if becoming unreasonably negatively biased) and maintaining a healthy body (for example through getting the right diet and levels of exercise.)

 

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How would I tell if my friend had depression?

It is normal for our moods to naturally fluctuate. People with depression may notice that their mood is persistently low and that they have other changes such as physical symptoms (e.g., changes in weight, libido, sleep and appetite) as well as psychological symptoms (e.g., lack of enjoyment, irritability and decreased motivation). If these symptoms persist for more than two weeks or begin to affect your life then it is advisable to seek professional advice.

What treatments are recommended?

The best treatment will depend on several factors including the levels of depression you are experiencing, whether you have had depression in the past and how much it is currently affecting your life. Talk to your CBT expert to get the right advice!

 


 

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