Most of us have felt a bit sad or down at some time in our lives. There are often things happening that will make us feel down, disappointed or even lost. These sorts of “ups and downs” are quite normal. They often tell us that something is missing in our lives and that we might need to make some changes. However for some people such feelings may last much longer and are experienced more intensely. In these circumstances we may be at risk of developing clinical depression.
Depression is more than just feeling a bit “down in the dumps”. It is a profound sense of sadness, despair or worthlessness, and is a serious clinical condition. Left untreated it can leave sufferers unable to perform their day to day tasks. If you find yourself experiencing five or more of the following symptoms, for more than 2 weeks, you may well be suffering from clinical depression:
- Overwhelming sadness or emptiness
- Loss of interest in activities you enjoyed in the past, and in life in general
- Loss of appetite
- Concentration difficulties or indecisiveness
- Self-criticism and feelings of hopelessness
- Feelings of guilt and worthlessness
- Withdrawal from friends and family
- Sleep problems such as insomnia or sleeping too much
- Tiredness and loss of energy
- Thinking about death and suicide.
(If you are currently feeling suicidal, please seek help by calling the Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467, or Lifeline on 13 11 14, both provide 24 hour service. If your life is in immediate danger please call 000 – triple zero)
Depression is a common mental health condition that affects approximately one million adults in Australia every year. On average, one in four females and one in six males are diagnosed with depression and, along with anxiety, it is sometimes considered the “common cold” of emotional problems.
What Causes Depression?
Research has shown us that there is no one cause of depression. A number of factors can contribute, such as: your family’s genetic makeup; brain chemistry; conflict or loss in your interpersonal relationships; behavioural factors, such as decreases in positive, enjoyable or rewarding experiences; and some ways of thinking about ourselves can make us more vulnerable to depression.
Treatments for Depression
The good news is that effective treatments are available for depression. The first step is to acknowledge that it has become an issue for you, and to seek assistance as soon as possible. Left untreated depression can become a chronic condition.
At TG Psychology our psychologists commonly use Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to treat depression. CBT is a structured, practical and highly effective approach to depression, in which you will helped to identify and modify unhelpful behaviours and thinking styles, known to contribute to depressive symptoms. For further information about CBT please check the “Types of Therapy” section in our Issues We Help With page.
We have helped many people to overcome depression and we are confident we can help you too.
So call us at TG Psychology today on Ph 02-8089 2665, and take the first steps to managing your symptoms and leading a happy and fulfilling life.