Depression is probably the most common form of emotional distress affecting around 15% of us. It is a condition which takes the form of low mood, negative thinking and loss of joy or interest in people or events. When depressed, everything seems harder to do and life seem less worthwhile. We may notice changes in our appetite and sleep patterns. We feel tired, lethargic, low in energy. Our concentration and focus are poor and we may experience “zoning out”, or a feeling of disconnect.
Recognise the Symptoms.
Most of us at some time feel low, sad, tired, miserable or under the weather. Usually these feelings pass. This “low level” depression may not interfere too much with our lives. But sometimes these feelings persist for several weeks. Sometimes they get worse, making life hard to bear, or even seem pointless. Sometimes the feeling of sadness and despair can be overwhelming. This is more likely to be major or clinical depression. It is important to recognise these symptoms and to take action.
Speak about It!
It is also likely that someone else close to us, in our class or work place seems to be experiencing symptoms and may not know what is happening to them. It can be so helpful, even life-saving to just ask, “Are you ok?” Speaking about depression is the best way to help yourself and to offer help and support to others.
Body or Mind
Depression can show itself in various ways, sometimes in ways which seem more physical than psychological. This could include headaches, aching limbs, stomach pain, sleeplessness, exhaustion and weight loss or gain. Because the physical signs of depression are often more visible or recognisable, depression is frequently not recognised initially, and symptoms can get worse before it is diagnosed
Therapy for Depression
Therapy focuses on how past events contribute to and affect your current thinking, feelings and behaviour. It is important to learn to identify these and to separate feelings that belong in the past from feelings that are relevant in the here and now. Therapy helps you understand what the underlying factors of depression are, what the triggers are, and what maintains it.
In therapy, I will help you to recognise your pattern of negative thoughts and feelings which contribute to your depression. We will work towards understanding why you are depressed and what holds you there. We will explore the terrain of your depression, finding the trouble spots and accessing the areas where there are positive elements to be enhanced. Our task is to help you to make the shift which will enable you to break through depression.
Some signs of depression
- negative thoughts much of the time
- poor eating habits with weight loss or gain
- poor sleep
- feeling empty, numb, lifeless
- feeling tired with no energy
- feeling weepy
- lack of concentration
- poor memory
- feeling bodily aches and pains
- keeping away from people, not wanting to share feelings
- feeling pathetic or helpless
- irritable and impatient
- no longer finding pleasure in things previously enjoyed
- loss of interest in sex
- smoking, drinking or using more drugs than usual