Depression

Depression is a common mood psychiatric disorder and has been described as reactive or endogenous. Reactive depression usually occurs because of loss or because of any other major stressful events in an individual’s life, while endogenous depression (the most severe form) occurs without any apparent cause.

Below are the four identified symptom domains in depression:

Physiological

Physical symptoms are characterised by significant changes in bodily symptoms. Generally, these reflect a ‘slowing down effect’ (such as reduced energy or poor appetite). It is important to note that some people may experience an increase in appetite, with subsequent weight gain, and increased agitation. Individuals also report significant physiological anxiety symptoms, sleep disturbances, reduced libido, and various aches & pains, fatigue, and gastrointestinal problems.

Thinking patterns and styles

So much of our thinking, if we start looking at it, is unproductive and tension-producing. Every thought and feeling we have can both alter and is altered by the chemistry of our body. The mind and body are completely interconnected. One does not exist without the other, depression is multi-faceted. Therefore, treating depression requires a multi-faceted approach.

One in four of us will experience a mental health difficulty at some point in your life, but depression does not have to be depressing. In my experience, what began as a breakdown eventually led to a breakthrough. Depression might feel as though you are wading through mud, or falling from a great height into the abyss, but sure as night follows day, you will see the light again.

Cognition/thinking

 

Cognitive (thought) symptoms usually include reduced concentration and impaired memory. Individuals may also express suicidal ideation. Typically, the person who is depressed will report a negative thinking style. Depression may be described as ‘low mood,’ ‘poor motivation’ or ‘feeling flat.’ Environment changes in the client’s social circumstances include stresses, redundancy, and prolonged periods of anxiety. The essential thing to bear in mind is that the causes of depression are ‘multifactorial,’ that is, many contributory factors exist, several of which are doubtless required to be present in any one individual before the illness manifests itself.

Behaviour

Behaviour features include avoidance of activities and withdrawal from social situations.

Observed behaviour in depression can include withdrawal from people, work, relaxations or pleasures, bouts of restlessness, irritability, anger, stooped posture, difficulty getting out of bed in the morning, avoidance of eye contact, reduced activity levels, monotonous and monosyllabic speech, and self-neglect (such as reduced engagement in personal hygiene routines).

Following assessment (if required and/or requested) I will offer both short and long-term interventions tailored to your needs: I will meet you where you are.

 

“If you can’t fly then run; if you can’t run then walk; if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.”

Martin Luther King Jr.

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