Depression can leave you feeling lonely, lost and unsure about how you’re going to find a way through.
The tricky part is when you’re depressed, getting support might feel like the last thing you want to do. We totally get that. Sometimes though it can be difficult to find your way out of depression without the help of a professional.
What is depression and depression counselling?
More than just a bout of the blues, depression isn’t a weakness and you can’t simply “snap out” of it. Depression is a mood disorder that results in persistent feelings of sadness, low mood and loss of interest in the daily activities that you once enjoyed. Everyone will feel sadness and low mood from time to time, but when these feelings are intense and last for weeks, months or even years, it’s likely you will benefit from seeing a professional for depression counselling.
Depression is common. According to Beyond Blue, approximately one million adults will experience depression in any one year in Australia. Luckily, it is also highly treatable – most people feel much better after seeking professional help.
What causes depression?
Factors that seem to increase the risk of developing or triggering depression include:
- Traumatic or stressful events, such as physical or sexual abuse, the death or loss of a loved one, a difficult relationship, or financial problems
- Blood relatives with a history of depression, bipolar disorder, alcoholism or suicide
- Certain personality traits, such as low self-esteem and being too dependent, self-critical or pessimistic
- Being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender in an unsupportive situation
- History of other mental health disorders, such as anxiety disorder, eating disorders or post-traumatic stress disorder
- Abuse of alcohol or recreational drugs
- Serious or chronic illness, including cancer, stroke, chronic pain or heart disease
- Certain medications, such as some high blood pressure medications or sleeping pills (talk to your doctor before stopping any medication)
When should I seek professional help for depression?
If you’ve felt down or depressed for more than two weeks, it’s likely you’ll benefit from talking to a professional in depression counselling. Even when reaching out to a health professional feels like the last thing you want to do, many people find they feel much better after seeking treatment and engaging with someone with the skills to effectively support them. Therefore, the sooner you seek help the better.
What are the symptoms of depression?
Most of us feel flat or down from time to time, but when you’re depressed, your low mood lasts longer (two weeks or more), is more intense and it gets in the way of life. Everyday tasks like getting out of bed, cooking and going to work can feel like a struggle when you are depressed.
Depression looks and feels different for everyone, but here are some of the most common symptoms and signs:
- Feeling sad most of the time
- Not enjoying things that you normally do
- Low motivation and energy levels
- Feeling teary
- Trouble getting started in the mornings
- Feeling lost or hopeless about the future
- A sense that nobody and nothing can help
- Low self-esteem
- High levels of self-criticism
- Sleep problems such as insomnia or over-sleeping
- Changes in appetite and weight
- Feeling empty or lonely
- Withdrawing from others
- Reduced sex drive
- Difficulties with concentration and memory
- Suicidal thoughts, ideas or behaviours
How we can help with depression:
Depending on their training and background, psychologists at Mindful Psychology will tailor an approach that draws on a variety of evidence-based treatments including:
- Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)
- Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
- Schema Therapy
- Compassion based approaches
- Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR)
- Solution Focused Therapy
- Positive Psychology
- Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT)
- Psychodynamic approaches
- Ego State Therapy
- Narrative Exposure Therapy
- Trauma informed approaches
- Motivational Interviewing