David Walliams health: The BGT judge has battled with depression – what are the symptoms?

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Perhaps best-known for his work on Little Britain, David Walliams, 47, has entertained British TV audiences for almost 20 years. As well as forging a career as a successful actor and comedian, Walliams is a well-established writer and a popular judge on Britain’s Got Talent. Despite his successes, the TV personality has battled with depression, which he has publicly opened up about in recent years. Speaking to fellow comedian John Bishop, on ‘John Bishop: In Conversation With’, in 2017, Walliams revealed he gets contacted by young men who are seeking advice on how to battle their own depression.

“People don’t, I think, seek help because it affects a lot of people and it’s also to some extent fixable,” Walliams told Bishop.

“So I always say to people in that situation that you should tell your family, tell your friends and seek help.”

According to the NHS, the symptoms of depression can be complex and vary widely between people. They can also come on gradually, making it difficult to notice something is wrong.

“Many people try to cope with their symptoms without realising they’re unwell. It can sometimes take a friend or family member to suggest something is wrong,” said the NHS.

However, “as a general rule, if you’re depressed, you feel sad, hopeless and lose interest in things you used to enjoy”, explains the health body.

“The symptoms persist for weeks or months and are bad enough to interfere with your work, social life and family life.”

The NHS categorises the symptoms of depression into three categories: psychological, physical and social.

The psychological symptoms of depression include:

  • Continuous low mood or sadness
  • Feeling hopeless and helpless
  • Having low self-esteem
  • Feeling tearful
  • Feeling guilt-ridden
  • Feeling irritable and intolerant of others
  • Having no motivation or interest in things
  • Finding it difficult to make decisions
  • Not getting any enjoyment out of life
  • Feeling anxious or worried
  • Having suicidal thoughts or thoughts of harming yourself.

The physical symptoms of depression include:

  • Moving or speaking more slowly than usual
  • Changes in appetite or weight (usually decreased, but sometimes increased)
  • Constipation
  • Unexplained aches and pains
  • Lack of energy
  • Low sex drive
  • Changes to your menstrual cycle
  • Disturbed sleep – for example, finding it difficult to fall asleep at night or waking up very early in the morning.

The social symptoms of depression include:

  • Not doing well at work
  • Avoiding contact with friends and taking part in fewer social activities
  • Neglecting your hobbies and interests
  • Having difficulties in your home and family life.

The health body advises seeing your GP if you experience symptoms of depression for most of the day, every day, for more than two weeks.

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