Depression affects up to 1 in 4 people at some point in their life, with women being more prone than men (or being more likely to seek treatment). Sufferers may not always realise when they are depressed, which can make it particularly difficult to treat as most do not seek treatment until a friend or family member insists on it.
Factors that can trigger depression include our upbringing, drug abuse or a reaction to life events such as a divorce, loss of a job or a loss of a loved one and so on.
Symptoms of Depression
Symptoms vary from person to person, but depression is characterised by a persistent sadness or low mood and not enjoying activities.
In addition to feeling low, sufferers may:
- Not be able to sleep, or experience a change in sleeping patterns
- Experience changes in appetite (eating a lot more than usual or a lot less)
- Feel tired constantly
- Feel agitated
- Feel anxious
- Feel numb
- Feel depressed
- Experience slower reactions and mental processes
- Not be able to concentrate
- Feel indecisive
- Feel worthless or inappropriately guilty
- Be preoccupied with death and dying
- personal care diminishes
Depression is usually only diagnosed if a person is suffering at least five of the symptoms listed above, and those symptoms impair normal functioning. It’s important to ensure that the depression is not a side effect of some medication or due to drug/alcohol misuse so that the core problem can be treated. It is also rarely diagnosed if the issue hasn’t lasted at least two weeks and isn’t a temporary lull.
Depression and Physical Conditions
Physical illnesses can have psychological symptoms that sometimes mimic depression – that’s why it’s important to go to your GP and discuss your symptoms. While counselling is appropriate for treating depression, if your depression is ultimately the result of hypothyroidism, an underactive pituitary gland, a head injury, or the side effect of drugs, counselling may be not able to provide the help that you need.
Therapy for Depression
Unfortunately it’s now quite common to try to treat depression with pills such as SSRI anti-depressants. These often have a huge number of unwanted side effects, can result in dependence, and the latest studies have shown that SSRIs perform no better than placebos in controlled studies.
That’s why we concentrate on offering counselling to help you deal with depression and minimise its effects on your day to day life. Our therapists help you to understand your depression and manage the symptoms until you’ve beaten depression that genuinely improves your quality of life in the long term. This can involve changing your thinking patterns, improving your interaction with others, and looking at the underlying factors that may be influencing your mood.
Our unique AES program is the ultimate recovery tool even when depression is the primary problem. Its straightforward, easy to implement and understand. It is also available here to purchase and use as a self help program with support.
CBT is another option as we are CBT specialists. It is very effective in the elimination of depression. We can discuss your options, there’s no reason why you wouldn’t make a full recovery.
Depression just like anxiety disorders is fully resolvable with the right help.