It is normal to feel sad and low from time to time, especially when there is an easily identified reason for your sadness. Depression, however, is a mental illness whereby an individual feels sadness or low mood that persists over a long period of time, usually for a period of weeks or months. It is characterised by feelings of tiredness, withdrawal, low motivation, loss of hope as well as other emotional and behavioural changes. Depression can negatively impact on relationships and employment, and because of this, it should be addressed as it arises.
Most individuals attend psychological therapy or counselling for support with depression after many months or even years of feeling low. Whilst it is great to take the first step to seek support from professionals for depression at any time, it is best to contact a professional at the earliest signs of depression. Prolonging the symptoms and experience of depression can be destructive to oneself and external relationships.
Many individuals report feeling ‘stuck’ in their low mood, and at a loss of what to do to improve it. They have attempted a number of things to improve their mood, including taking a holiday, having a break, reading books, or watching a movie, but have not found a way that offers a longer-term improvement. It can feel like an endless cycle of frustration, sadness and loss of hope.
At New Vision Psychology, professional psychologists and counsellors work with clients to find long-term strategies to improve feelings of depression. There are many different treatment options and resources available. The psychologists and counsellors at New Vision Psychology work to understand the underlying cause of your depression and provide evidence-based support (scientifically proven) to alleviate depressive symptoms.
It is also important to note that the experience of depression is not limited to adults. Depression can be prominent in young people, especially those experiencing periods of transition, such as moving school or going through parental separation and divorce.
Reasons for Depression
Usually, there is no one cause of depression. Reasons for depression are complex and varied, and are generally caused by a number of factors, and usually long-term issues. These include long-term relationship issues, isolation, unemployment, financial stress, health decline – stressors that over time reduce our resilience to cope.
Sometimes specific life events can trigger a period of depression, for example, the loss of a loved-one, a breakdown in a relationship, loss of a job, health concerns and sudden trauma (accidental, or violence perpetrated by others).
Depression can range from experiencing between mild, moderate and major depressive symptoms. In extreme cases, people who experience depression can be at risk of self-harm or suicide.
Psychologists and counsellors at New Vision Psychology are clinically trained to work with clients experiencing the range of depressive presentations. New Vision Psychology works with psychological treatments that are evidence-based interventions (scientifically proven), and work holistically with your medical team (with GPs, Psychiatrists, specialists, etc) to provide complete care.
It is important to know that all types of depression are treatable. Please contact New Vision Psychology to discuss your personal situation, and ask how we can assist you.
Types of Depression
People experience different types of depression including;
Major Depression/Major Depressive Disorder: the most common type of depression, it is a mood disorder and can be described as severe, moderate or mild.
Postnatal/Antenatal/Perinatal Depression: Depression experienced during pregnancy (antenatal) or following the birth of a child (post-natal). With a combination of hormonal fluctuations, distress, fatigue and general adjustment to parenthood, the period before and after birth increases the vulnerability to developing depression. Depression can impact on a parent’s relationship with their child and family.
Melancholia– a severe depression with strong biological links, with a loss in pleasure and feelings of despair.
Psychotic Depression – the experience of severe depression coupled with the presence of delusions and hallucinations.
Dysthymia – mild but persistent depression lasting for two years or more.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) – symptoms of depression associated with changes in weather and seasons. The exact cause of SAD is debated. It is thought to be not as commonly experienced in Australia due to the warmer climate.
Cyclothymic Disorder– mild form of bipolar disorder whereby an individual’s mood fluctuates between hypomania and depressive symptoms within short periods of time.
Bipolar Disorder– a medical condition whereby the individual goes through extreme alternating periods of depression and elation (mania). Manic episodes may last at least seven days and in some cases, hospital care is needed to manage the symptoms and risk factors. Symptoms of mania include racing thoughts, irritability, talking fast and having excessive energy bursts.
Symptoms of Depression:
- unable to get out of bed.
- sadness, without necessarily knowing why.
- sense of hopelessness.
- crying frequently.
- difficulty with concentration.
- low motivation.
- thoughts of suicide.
- loss of interest in activities that used to bring enjoyment.
- social withdrawal.
- difficult to complete daily tasks (e.g. making breakfast, having a shower, washing clothes).
- frequently feeling irritable.
- persistent low mood.
- Lethargy, i.e. always feeling tired.
- thoughts of worthlessness, and being a failure.
- feeling that nothing good will ever happen to you
How counselling with New Vision Psychology can help:
- Help you to focus on what is in your control, rather than focusing on what is out of your control. This will help with being effective and feeling empowered.
- challenge negative thought patterns that create low mood and a sense of hopelessness.
- Become aware of what is important to you, such that you can make immediate goals consistent with what is important.
- make choices in line with personal values.
- learn to manage stress in a helpful way, rather than ways that are destructive.
- Identify personal goals.
- assist in taking immediate action to improve your situation.
- identify negative thought patterns that self-defeat.
- identify unrealistic thought patterns that get in the way of pursuing goals.
- New Vision Psychology uses evidence-based interventions (scientifically proven) to work with your depression
Through understanding the causes of depression, types of depression and symptoms to look out for, individuals can seek effective treatment from mental health professionals at New Vision Psychology. With the right treatment and support services, individuals can tackle mental health problems and find actionable solutions.