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«Dr Patrick McKeon Julie Healy Geraldine Bailey and Gerry Ward Depression Keeping hope alive A guide for families & friends Series Editor: Dr. Patrick ...»

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Personality Based or Neurotic Depression: This is a recurring, reactive depression occurring following what are quite often trivial upsets, but have a significantly distressing effect because of the person’s underlying personality. If a person has substantial anxiousness, perfectionism, rigidity, sensitiveness or unassertiveness they will have difficulty coping with minor negative events on a recurring basis.

Rapid Cycling Mood Disorders: Defined as being 4 or more episodes of mood disturbance, either major depressive episode, or hypomania, in the previous 12 months. It came to attention as an entity in its own right, as it was noted to be particularly resistant to treatment with Lithium.

Reactive Depression: This depression is directly related to a loss or negative life event. The person feels distressed, anxious, sad, angry, or irritable, is often worse in the evening, tends to comfort eat and gain weight rather than have a poor appetite, may have trouble getting to sleep and can still be cheered by pleasant events.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): Slight shifts in mood with the seasons are quite normal, but where they are more prolonged and intense, they are called seasonal affective disorder (affect meaning emotion). Depressions are more common in the Winter and mania is more likely to occur in Summer. The brain biochemistry of those who get a seasonal affective disorder seems to be more affected than usual by atmospheric changes.

Thyroid Gland: A small gland in the neck, just below the Adam’s apple and you usually cannot feel it unless it is enlarged. It produces thyroid hormones, which circulate around the body and help regulate body and brain metabolism and mood. If too little (hypothyroid) or too much (hyperthyroid) hormone is produced, it will affect mood.

Suggestions for further reading Audiotape: Helping You Defeat Depression, Dublin, Aware, 1994.

Blackburn, I.M., Coping With Depression, Edinburgh, Chambers 1987.

Brown, G.W., and Harris, T., Social Origins of Depression London, Tavistock Publications, 1979.

Burns, D.D., Feeling Good. The New Mood Therapy New York, William Morrow 1980.

Corry, M., Postnatal Depression - A guide for Mothers and Families, Dublin, Aware, 1991.

Duke, P, and Hochman, G., A Brilliant Madness - Living With Manic Depressive Illness, New York, Britain Books, 1992.

Graham, P. and Hughes, C., So Young, So Sad, So Listen, London, Royal College of Phsychiatrists, 1995.

Greist, J.H., and Jefferson, J.W., Depression and its Treatment, Warner Books, 1984.

Milligan, S., and Clare A., Depression and How to Survive it, London, Ebury, 1993.

McKeon, P., Coping with Depression and Elation, (Revised ed), London, Sheldon Press, 1995.

McKeon, P., Bipolar Disorder - A Guide, (Revised ed), London, Sheldon Press, 1995.

McKeon, P., Depression: The Facts, Dublin, Aware, 2000.

Rush, A.J., Beating Depression, London, Century, 1983.

Shamoo, T.K., and Patros, P.G., Helping your Child Cope with Depression and Suicidal Thoughts, San Francisco, Jossey Bass, 1997.

Styron, W., Darkness Visible, London, Jonathan Cape, 1991.

Weissman, N.M., and Paykel, E., The Depressed Woman - A Study of Social Relationships, Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1974.

Winokur, G., Depression - The Facts, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1974.

Wolpert, L., Malignant Sadness: The Anatomy of Depression, London, Faber and faber, 1999.


• Help patients with depression and elation, and their families, cope with the illness and benefit from the standard treatments by providing both factual information about the disorders and supportive group therapy sessions.

• Foster an increased public awareness of the nature, extent and consequence of mood disorders.

• Promote research into the causes and the effective treatment of moodswings.

Aware Services Support Group Meetings Are available at some 60 locations throughout the Republic and Northern Ireland for people with depression and their families. Here people can get the information and emotional support they need, learn skills to overcome depression and build self-esteem and prevent relapses. Research shows that support groups are effective.

Helpline Counselling Service Aware run a Helpline Counselling Service from 10.00am to 10.00pm (Monday to Wednesday) and from 10.00am to 1.00am (Thursday to Sunday) at 1890 303 302. It provides a listening ear for people in distress and helps people with depression and their families explore solutions to their difficulties.

Information Aware hosts public lectures regularly, provides literature and audio tapes on depression, postnatal depression, depression in the workplace, bipolar disorder, lithium and carbamazepine therapy and a guide for relatives of people with depression. We distribute free depression information packs to those who write to or phone Aware.

Mail Order Book Service This service brings over 30 books on depression and other psychological difficulties to those who do not have ready access to a well-stocked book shop. A mail order book catalogue is available from our administration office.

Beat the Blues Aware presents an educational programme, Beat the Blues, to senior-cycle students in second-level schools. It has proven to be a highly effective way of increasing awareness and understanding of depression and helping young people become more open about emotional difficulties. Aware is happy to bring this service to schools in your community.

Aware Magazine This informative magazine is published and regularly features articles on depression and related topics. It is available by subscription from the Aware office and on the website www.aware.ie.

Charity Shop It is located at 147 Phibsborough Road, Dublin 7 and stocks a wide range of clothing, books and household items. Our mail order books can be purchased directly from the shop.

Research Aware funds the only ongoing Depression Research Unit in Ireland and our researchers are currently engaged in studies of the genetics of the depressive and bipolar illness. They have studied public attitudes to depression, the management of depression in general practice, and the effectiveness of support group meetings.

Website At www.aware.ie you will find up-to-date details on lectures, support groups, fundraising events and our publications.

A Voice in Europe and Beyond Aware is actively engaged with a number of advocacy organisations throughout Europe and North America. In particular, it is an active member of Gamian which is campaigning to improve the availability and quality of care provided for people with psychiatric illnesses.

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Helping to Defeat Depression

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