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Depression

Lewis Psychology Services For Depression

Depression

Health professionals use the words depression, depressive illness or clinical depression to refer to depression. It is very different from the common experience of feeling miserable or fed up for a short period of time.

When you're depressed, you may have feelings of extreme sadness that can last for a long time. These feelings are severe enough to interfere with your daily life, and can last for weeks or months rather than days.

Depression is quite common, and about 15% of people will have a bout of severe depression at some point in their lives. However, the exact number of people with depression is hard to estimate because many people do not get help, or are not formally diagnosed with depression.

Women are twice as likely to suffer from depression as men, although men are far more likely to commit suicide. This may be because men are more reluctant to seek help for depression.

Depression, Wolverhampton

Symptoms of Depression

Many people know when they are depressed. However, some people do not realize when they are depressed. They may know that they are not right and are not functioning well, but don't know why. The following is a list of common symptoms of depression. It is unusual to have them all, but several usually develop if you have depression.

  • Low mood for most of the day, nearly every day.
  • Loss of enjoyment and interest in life, even for activities that you normally enjoy.
  • Sadness, often with weepiness.
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or uselessness.
  • Poor motivation. Even simple tasks seem difficult.
  • Poor concentration. It may be difficult to read, work, etc.
  • Sleeping problems: difficulty in getting off to sleep; waking early and being unable to get back to sleep; sleeping too much.
  • Lacking in energy.  Always tired.
  • Difficulty with affection, including going off sex.
  • Poor appetite and weight loss. Sometimes the reverse happens with comfort eating and weight gain.
  • Irritability, agitation, or restlessness.
  • Symptoms often seem worse first thing each day.
  • Physical symptoms such as headaches, palpitations, chest pains, and general aches.
  • Recurrent thoughts of death. This is not usually a fear of death, more a preoccupation with death and dying. Some people get suicidal thoughts such as "... life's not worth living".

The Causes of Depression

Depression can be triggered by upsetting experiences such as a bereavement, relationship breakdown or unemployment. There is no one cause of depression and it has the potential to affect anyone. Below are some common causes of depression:

  • Bereavement
  • Loss of job
  • Stress at work
  • Life changes such as the birth of a child, redundancy or retirement
  • Menopause
  • Alcohol or substance misuse
  • Separation or divorce
  • Illness or disability
  • Financial worries
  • Bullying and harassment
  • Relationship difficulties

The above list is not exhaustive. Many issues can contribute to depression.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) For Depression

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or CBT is a clinically proven, evidence-based therapy that is widely used to resolve common issues, ranging from work stress to grief. Many other forms of therapy focus on past events, such as traumas in childhood, while CBT focuses on the 'here and now'.

The aim is to help you to quickly identify thoughts and feelings that are impacting you negatively so you can learn to change them

A CBT session begins with a therapist clarifying your history and the problems being faced. They explain how the way we feel is linked to the way we think and behave, and that by replacing negative thoughts with more realistic ones we can change our feelings and behaviour.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy techniques include:

  • discussing how you think about yourself, the world and other people, and how what you do affects your thoughts and feelings
  • keeping a diary of significant events and associated feelings, thoughts and behaviours, then questioning and testing thoughts that might be unhelpful and unrealistic
  • gradually facing activities that may have been avoided and trying out new ways of behaving and reacting

The aim is to help you to quickly identify which areas of your thoughts, feelings and behaviours are negatively impacting you so you can learn to change them and maintain a health psychological balance on your own, without further support from the therapist.

Counselling And Psychotherapy For Depression

Counselling and psychotherapy provide an opportunity in which a person can talk about, make sense of and find their way out of depression. Counselling and psychotherapy can help you to understand the underlying cause of depression and discover ways of moving out of the depression.

Treatment will always be tailored to your individual symptoms.

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Medical disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice by a qualified doctor.