The ONS reported that levels of depression doubled in June 2020. On a positive note, an Age UK study showed that many over 65’s make a good recovery after talking therapy.

So remember, however you’re feeling, you can talk to CABA.

Spotting the signs

Everyone’s experience is unique, but these signs could point to depression:

  • Lack of energy or feeling tired all the time
  • Restlessness and agitation, feeling anxious all the time
  • Having difficulty sleeping (or sleeping more than usual)
  • Poor appetite, smoking and/or drinking more than usual
  • Feeling sad and in low spirits all the time, and crying a lot
  • Having no interest in anything, not getting any pleasure out of life
  • Having difficulty concentrating or making decisions
  • Low self-confidence and self-esteem, withdrawing from family and friends
  • Being more irritable and impatient than usual
  • Feeling helpless and hopeless or feeling guilty, as if everything that goes wrong is their fault

Positive action

It can be difficult for someone suffering with depression to communicate. Do your best to encourage them to talk and listen to what they tell you without judgement.

What you could say

These phrases might help if you’re not sure what to say:

  • Do you want to talk about it – I’m here when you’re ready to talk
  • What can I do to help today?
  • You’re not alone – even if I don’t completely understand how you feel
  • You’re important to me
  • That sounds hard. How are you managing?
  • I’m sorry you’re experiencing this – I’m here for you

What could you do

With depression, everyday activities can feel like a new mountain to climb. Don’t wait to be asked, do something practical to make daily life easier like popping meals in the freezer, doing the washing or vacuuming the house.

Suggest an activity that you’ve enjoyed together in the past like going for a walk together or watching a film. Be prepared to just be there with them if that’s what they need.

If you think it's appropriate, encourage them to see their GP, who could offer them medical treatment or recommend a local support group.

Our mental wellbeing hub is packed with advice, tips and tools to look after your mental wellbeing and improve your ability to deal with life’s ups and downs. With information such as practical ways to get back on track and common work-related challenges to our mental wellbeing. Discover how small changes can make a big difference

CABA provides free lifelong support to past and present ICAEW members, ACA students, ICAEW staff, and their close family members

If you’re worried about the impact of the pandemic on you and your family, find out how CABA can support you.