Mental Health Information
Information on Clinical Depression, Bipolar Disorder and Psychosis
Here is some information on these disorders so you can see if any of these have been a problem for you. If you would like to go straight to sources of help for these disorders then choose the Mental Health Help page on the menu or click here.
What do we mean by Clinical Depression?
When we talk about clinical depression, we don’t mean just feeling a bit sad, down or depressed for a few hours or day. Clinical depression is not just the low mood that we all experience some of time, but rather a serious illness.
To be diagnosed as having “clinical” depression (typically called major depression), you need to experience at least 5 of the following symptoms and they each need to last all day every day continuously for at least two weeks, and to interfere with your ability to work or study and your relationships with family and friends:
Depressed mood (feeling unhappy and down) most of the day, nearly every day
Losing interest in all activities and not enjoying anything
Finding it hard to make decisions or to concentrate
Feeling tired all day every day
Feeling restless/agitated or conversely really slowed down
A big loss (or gain) in appetite and/or weight
Sleeping more or less than normal
Feeling useless, inadequate and hopeless
Repeated thinking about death, suicide or harming yourself
If you have ever experienced at least 5 of these symptoms most of the day every day for at least 2 weeks, then taking part in the ECoWeB study is not right for you because it is focused on prevention and health promotion.
If you are currently experiencing at least 5 of these symptoms most of the day every day for at least 2 weeks then you should seek help from your GP or family doctor.
For more info about depression see:
What do we mean by Bipolar Disorder?
Bipolar disorder involves your moods swinging from one extreme to another. It was previously called manic depression. It typically involves periods of clinical depression and periods of feeling very high, positive or agitated and overactive, known as mania.
Mania is not just feeling good or positive. To be diagnosed as “mania”, at least 3 of the following symptoms need to be present nearly every day for at least one week, and to interfere with your ability to work or study and your relationships with family and friends:
Inflated sense of self-esteem or grandiose thoughts (feeling very self-important)
Having what seem like great new ideas and very (over) ambitious plans
Feeling very happy, elated or overjoyed (a prolonged high feeling)
Talking more and talking very quickly
Decreased need for sleep
Being easily distracted
Feeling quite agitated and finding it hard to stay still
Being much more active than normal
Doing things that could have painful consequences and that others see
as risky or harmful, often out of character, e.g., spending sprees, gambling,
*Bipolar disorder would normally only be diagnosed after seeing a specialist doctor such as a psychiatrist*
If you have ever experienced mania, then your GP or a mental health professional would be the best person to contact regarding help and support. As the ECoWeB study is focused on preventing mental health difficulties rather than treating existing problems, taking part in the trial would not be right for you.
For more information, see https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/bipolar-disorder/
What do we mean by Psychosis?
Psychosis is a mental health problem where people perceive or interpret things differently from those around them. It typically involves delusions and/or hallucinations.
A hallucination is where a person hears, sees or feels, tastes and smells things that do not exist outside their mind but that feel very real to them. The most common form is hearing voices, where the person experiences the sound of voices talking when the speaker is not present.
A delusion is holding a strong belief that is not shared by others, e.g. someone believing that there is a conspiracy to harm them.
You should see a GP / family doctor immediately if you are experiencing the symptoms of psychosis. As the ECoWeB study is focused on preventing mental health difficulties rather than treating existing problems taking part in the trial would not be right for you.
For more information - https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/psychosis/
You can find a link to sources of help by choosing Mental Health Help from the menu or by clicking here.