“There are wounds that never show on the body that are deeper and more hurtful than those that bleed” – Laurell K Hamilton

Depression is a very common mental illness that affects over 450,000 people in Ireland. Depression can affect our behavior, thinking, feelings and energy. The condition can vary from mild to severe and can affect our relationships, family and work/school life. Anyone can be affected by it. Recognizing the signs early on and seeking early help can immensely help with the recovery process. 

Common signs of depression:

  • Prolonged feelings of hopelessness and sadness.
  • Anxiety, loss of confidence, avoiding responsibilities and loss of motivation.
  • Irritability and negativity.
  • Feelings of emptiness, worthlessness and pointlessness.
  • Sleep disturbance or needing more sleep.
  • Loss of energy.
  • Comfort eating or decrease in appetite.
  • Using alcohol, cigarettes or other substances to cope.
  • Thoughts of self-harm and thoughts of suicide.

Men and women often show depression in different ways. As do older and younger people. Quite often it is difficult for a person to recognize that they are depressed. Sometimes friends and family might not even notice it. Due to this, many people would not understand how you feel. Often, people who are depressed are told just ‘snap out of it’ by people who haven’t experienced depression. It is important to not blame yourself for how you feel. Overlooking symptoms can have a very bad effect in the long run.


There are many ways to get help for depression. Everyone experiences mental health problems in a different way, therefore, treatment may vary from person to person. Some feel that support groups help them open up, while some feel they are uncomfortable in them. Visiting a counselor can help immensely in understanding what you are experiencing. A counselor can identify the cause and guide you to recovery. Counselors can listen and empathize with you.

Talking to a close friend or family member can also help greatly. You may feel you are beyond help, however there is help out there for everyone. One way may not work for you however it does not me you can’t get treatment.