While we all feel sad, moody or low from time to time, some people experience these feelings intensely for longer periods of time. This distress does not have any apparent reason and can last weeks, months and even years in some cases. Depression is more than just a low mood, it is a serious condition that affects physical and mental health.
Depression can be mild to severe. It can be short-lived or chronic and special circumstances can trigger depressive symptoms. A number of symptoms combined together, their persistence and duration, can indicate to a health professional that the person is at risk.
Each element in the list below can be a symptom of depression.
Loss interest in any activity
Loss of self-esteem
Lack of concentration
Loss of energy
Change of appetite (loss or gain in weight)
Altered sleep pattern (Insomnia or hypersomnia)
Depressive episodes can be genetic or/and environmental. Following is a short list of the types of depression:
|Major depressive disorder||Person who has at least five persistent symptoms. Most cases are highly treatable.|
|Treatment-resistant depression||Person with tenacious depression who does not readily respond to treatment. A doctor’s diagnosis is critical to identify the causes and a change in treatment.|
|Subsyndromal depression||Person who has less than five persistent symptoms and is still able to function more or less normally during the day.|
Persistent depression disorder
|Person who usually requires treatment with a combination of medication and psychotherapy. They have a low, dark or sad mood on most days and at least two additional symptoms lasting two years or more.|
|Dysthymia||Form of PDP, it is diagnosed in children and teens. It is considered as a low level of depression and can last a year or more.|
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder
Person with severe form of Premenstrual Syndrome that triggers depression, sadness, anxiety and irritability in the week before a woman’s period.
Up to 10% of women of childbearing age experience PMDD.
|Bipolar depression/disorder||Person who has experienced at least one bout of mania. He/she has wide swings in mood and energy from elation to hopelessness. It is usually more apparent in young adulthood and worsens without treatment.|
|Disruptive mood dysregulation disorder||This type is diagnosed in children who struggle with regulating their emotions. It is currently treated using medications, psychotherapy and parent training.|
|Perinatal depression (PPD)||This type of depression affects one in four women and one in eight men. It appears with the parenting role and obligations and may require treatment with medication and psychotherapy. In women, it is likely to be triggered by changes in hormonal levels and fatigue, while in men it is environmental.|
|Seasonal affective disorder/depression (SAD)||This type of depression is diagnosed after at least two years of recurring, seasonal symptoms that usually occur in autumn or winter. The exact cause is unclear. It may require treatment with medication and psychotherapy.|
|Substance-induced mood disorder||Using or abusing any drug or alcohol can change a person’s mood. Depression, anxiety, and loss of interest in pleasurable activities typically appear shortly after taking or abusing a substance or during withdrawal. Dependency requires treatment with medication and psychotherapy.|
A person with psychotic depression has severe depression accompanied by the loss of contact with reality. Symptoms can include hallucinations and/or delusions.
Doctors usually prescribe treatment with medication and psychotherapy.
|Depression due to an illness||A person who is coping with a serious chronic disease or injury may be affected. Debilitating pain from disease-related inflammation can cause the release of certain chemicals by the immune system that trigger or worsen depression. Treatment with medication may help prolong their life and improve their ability to function. Psychotherapy and learning pain management techniques can help them to cope with their resultant mental and physical problems.|
Treating depression with Counselling and Therapy
As well as overcoming depression, knowing exactly what depression means will help to recognise the onset of future episodes, if they occur. Gaining new skills or being able to challenge depressive thinking and behaviour at the onset means you can be confident about leading a depression free life and I can help you to learn these skills.
My effective Counselling session focus on a non-directive approach. A combination of the following methods will help guide you during therapy.
Why I behave the way I do
The basic idea of behavioural therapy is that everything amounts to behaviour and inner processes are little or no account. Hence, Behavioural therapists are in general less interested in the thoughts and emotions of their patients but more in how these behaviours can be observed and modified or changed. In brief, behaviour modification is only a part of the treatment.
Why I think the way I do
Cognitive therapy works on the basic premise that all emotion comes from thoughts thus if you think about something scary you will feel fear. Recent studies of how the brain works have shown that certain emotions occur before thoughts and it is possible to be afraid of something before you know what it is. However, research on the benefits of cognitive therapy has demonstrated major improvement as well as preventing relapse of depression.
While negative thoughts can be challenged through Cognitive therapy when they appear, the complexity of its learning process will require some engagement from the patient.
Why I relate to others the way I do
Interpersonal therapy focuses on the way we relate to other people in our lives and how we use communication to express our feelings. This approach is modelled on the concept of the level of timidity, aggressiveness or assertiveness an individual has and how social skills may negatively or positively affect her or his life.
Depression can cause you to lose access to social skills as well as the desire to sustain relationships. The lack of satisfaction in family, work and social relationships are extremely common for people suffering depression and this therapy can be seen as practical, sensible and very helpful for them. Yet, like all the other approaches, interpersonal therapy can a part of the whole process.
How to improve my future
Solution focused therapy places its emphasis on finding solutions to current problems and focusing on future wellness rather than past hurts. This is not to say that your past is ignored but the main focus is on teaching you some new skills while keeping your therapy brief and focused.
Helping you find solutions to your immediate problems
The battle against depression has to be confronted together with the health care team.
During our therapy sessions, you and I will travel through the collection of information regarding your behaviour, your thoughts and beliefs that you have gathered throughout your lifetime.
We will evaluate and interpret this disclosure in an effort for you to develop a strategy that will improve your relationships. Ultimately, you will become an inquisitive learner reflecting and researching yourself, objectively and accurately. Therefore, managing your depression by mastering your personal development.
I am committed to providing a high quality of care. I can assist you find support and solutions for you to achieve your new you. Your call is completely confidential and obligation-free.
Making the first step can be difficult but the payoff life changing, so to make an appointment, please contact me at Plaisance Counselling.