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Understanding Depression

Mental and Emotional Health issues are being talked about a lot more lately. Support from Charities is growing, The Royals such as, Prince William, as well as those of us who are affected by Depression in their everyday life, are raising awareness. Several more men are also beginning to feel comfortable to share their stories too. People are joining together to stamp out the Stigma of what was once rarely spoken about. We have come along way but there is still some work to do to make things better.

You may have a colleague or a loved one who struggles with Depression, you may be experiencing it yourself, sometimes even unknowingly, but...

What exactly is Depression?

Depression is a "whole-body" illness, involving your body, mood, and thoughts. It affects the way you eat and sleep, the way you feel about yourself and the way you view things. A depressive disorder is not a sign of personal weakness or a condition that can be wished away. People who are depressed cannot merely "pull themselves together" and get better.

Without treatment, symptoms can last for weeks, months, or years. Appropriate treatment, however, can help most people who suffer from Depression. The symptoms may vary from person to person, they also depend on the severity. Depression causes changes in thinking, feeling, behaviour and physical well-being.

Signs and Symptoms of Depression

* Sadness or 'empty' feelings
* Anxiety
* Decreased energy, fatigue, being 'slowed down'
* Loss of interest or pleasure in activities that were once enjoyed, hobbies, sex and intimacy etc...
* Insomnia, oversleeping or waking much earlier than usual
* Loss of weight or appetite, or overeating and weight gain
* Feelings of hopelessness and pessimism
* Feelings of helplessness, guilt, and worthlessness
* Thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts
* Difficulty concentrating, making decisions, or remembering
* Restlessness, irritability or excessive crying
* Chronic aches and pains or physical problems that do not respond to treatment

Depressed people may often have thoughts like:
* 'I am a failure'
* 'I can't do anything right'
* 'I will never accomplish my goal,'
* 'No one cares about me'
* 'This situation will never end'
* 'Things will never be right for me'

The NHS lists some of the common causes of Depression.

Depression is a common reason that people seek Counselling and Therapy

Treatment for Depression includes Counselling and Anti-depressant medicines, they can take time to work but have a good chance of success. Some people have recurring episodes of Depression and require long-term treatment to keep symptoms away. An in-depth form of Counselling in the form of Psychotherapy has been found to be a helpful form of treatment, in fact, it appears to be just as effective as Anti-depressant medications.

A common Psychotherapeutic approach used to combat Depression is Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (also referred to as CBT). Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is a combination of two kinds of Therapy: Cognitive and Behavioural.

Cognitive Therapy focuses on thoughts, assumptions and beliefs. Clients can learn to recognise unhelpful beliefs and patterns of thinking. Cognitive Therapy is not about "positive thinking" in the sense that you must always be geared towards thinking happy thoughts. It's a way to gain control over racing, repetitive thoughts which often feed or trigger Anxiety.

With the use of Behavioural Therapy, clients can learn how to change their behaviour. There are some common Behavioural techniques used in the treatment of Anxiety disorders, such as desensitisation, relaxation and breathing exercises. They all form part of Behavioural Therapy. Cognitive and Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is often used together because they're beneficial to each other. CBT focuses on the clinical observation that the depressed mood often results from negative patterns of thinking and behaviour. These thoughts can feel powerful and compelling, but usually do not tell a balanced, reasonable story.

Therapy Sessions allow the client and Therapist to work together to determine what types of negative thinking is problematic for the depressed client. Also, the types of coping or balanced thoughts can that be used to provide a better perspective, to lift the client's mood and help him or her function better. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy has a focus on helping the depressed client increase his or her activity level and develop more gratifying activities.

During sessions, the client is able to express their thoughts and feelings. The Therapist takes an active approach to teach here-and-now coping strategies to help clients understand and change cognitions and behaviours that contribute to their depressed mood. This is an active problem-solving form of Therapy. Practising new skills outside of sessions is a central part of treatment. A key goal of Therapy for Depression is to provide you with tools that you can use to work on your depressive symptoms, it also aims to prevent future episodes. 

Get Support for Depression

If you're depressed or manic you may not experience all of the symptoms, some people have many; others will have just a few. The severity may be different for each person and even vary over time. No one is predestined to develop Depression. However, it can be very important to be aware of risk factors so that those of us who may be vulnerable can educate ourselves, be attentive to warning signs, as well as, take steps towards recognising and preventing Depression.

To learn more about Depression, choose your free Ebook. If you're experiencing any symptoms and require support, you can have a Counselling session with one of our qualified Counsellors and Mental Health professionals. We provide Therapy for Depression via Email, Instant Messenger, Skype or Whatsapp Calling and Telephone. We would be happy to support you.