Most of us can identify with periods of feeling sad or down. Depression is more than this, it persists for weeks or months. You may have heard people saying depression isn’t serious and “just get on with it”. However, they just don’t have awareness about depression.
Depression is a real illness with real symptoms. It is not a sign of weakness. Importantly, with the right support, it is possible to make a full recovery.
Symptoms of depression
- Having little pleasure or interest in doing things
- Feeling down, isolated, tearful and hopeless
- Sleeping a lot or unable to sleep
- Feeling constantly tired and lacking in energy
- Reaching for junk food and little motivation to exercise
- Feeling that you have let yourself or others down
- Little sense of esteem or purpose
- Difficulty concentrating
- Other people noticing that you are not yourself
Severe symptoms include suicidal thoughts and a feelings of not wanting to be around anymore.
Depression can be triggered by a life event such as a bereavement, loss of a relationship, a job. Some women experience depression after giving birth. Also when depression exists in a family, for example, if a parent is predisposed to depression, it is often the case that a child in that family will also experience depression. Sometimes there is no obvious reason for depression – it may appear out of the blue.
When I work with clients suffering from depression I used a variety of ways to support them. These include:
- Interventions which nurture self-confidence, esteem and connection with self and others
- Interventions to understand the family system, belief systems and relationship dynamics
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) for mild depression
- Self-regulation techniques
- Nutritional interventions to support mood and sleep
- Motivational interviewing to harness a sense of inner purpose
- Frameworks I use include Life Script, Internal Family System (IFS), Person Centred Therapy
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