From time to time we all go through periods of feeling sad or lonely. But when these feelings last for 2 weeks or more, it is likely to be a lot more than just being ‘down in the dumps’. When you are Depressed your thoughts are your own worst enemy; sucking the life out of things you used to enjoy, making even the simplest task seem like climbing a mountain, causing conflict in your relationships, and overall making you feel hopeless and helpless to stop or change it.
A lot of people avoid seeking help because it just seems like another thing they have to do, or they think if they ignore it they will eventually get better, or “how can talking about it possibly help?!” However, what we know from research is that if left untreated, Depression actually tends to get worse, and that the talking therapies are a crucial piece of the jigsaw puzzle that is recovery from Depression.
Whilst friends and family are vitally important in recovery, the importance of seeking the assistance of a mental health professional, such as a Psychologist, cannot be underestimated. It is the Psychologist’s job to provide a safe, non-judgemental space for you to explore your thoughts and emotions with an objective person whose only agenda is to help you recover, through providing well-researched guidance and support along the way.
Symptoms of Depression
The symptoms of Depression include: having a low or irritable mood most of the time, loss of interest and pleasure in things previously enjoyed, and feelings of guilt, worthlessness, hopelessness or helplessness. Other symptoms may include eating much more or much less than usual, trouble getting to sleep, staying asleep or alternatively sleeping too long, increased anger, lack of energy or motivation, and difficulties with memory or concentration. It is quite common for people with Depression to have changes to their libido (sex drive), socially isolate themselves, have negative thoughts about their relationship, and at times think excessively about death or suicide.
Treatment Options for Depression
There are different types of Depression and also different severity levels, therefore treatment options vary according to the individual. For many people, counselling is enough, and there are a number of different therapies that are available and effective. In some of the more severe cases, counselling combined with medication is the best option. In each and every case one thing is clear: doing what you’ve always done will get you what you’ve always got. Doing something different by seeking help is the first step towards change and recovery.