Why seek help for depression?

Depression is a mental health illness that can effect people in different ways.   It is normal to feel down once in a while, but if you are low most days, then you may have depression. 

Feeling depressed is not a sign of weakness. If left untreated, it can develop into a serious mental health problem.  Fortunately, it is also treatable.  There’s no need to suffer with depression - proven treatment exists and your mood can improve with medicine, psychological therapy, and simple changes to your lifestyle. 

Depression can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems and can impact a person’s ability to function at work and at home.  It is understood that events in life can cause symptoms of depression, and others may experience a chemical imbalance in the brain.   

Types of depression:

There are many different types of depression, and while there are many similarities that have their own distinctive set of symptoms:

  • Major Depression: A common type of depression
  • Persistent depressive disorder: Is a continuous long-term (chronic) form of depression
  • Postnatal Depression: Sadness after having a baby
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): Usually develops in the dark winter months
  • Atypical Depression: A misunderstood type of depression
  • Psychotic Depression: Losing touch with reality
  • Bipolar Disorder: From high to low (and back to high again)
  • Situational Depression: When life gets you down

Symptoms of depression:

The symptoms persist for weeks or months and are bad enough to interfere with your work, social life and family life.

  • Difficulty thinking, concentrating or making decisions
  • Feeling sad or low most days 
  • Irritability and frustration
  • Sensitivity to criticism
  • Difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities and hobbies you once enjoyed
  • Changes in appetite
  • Reduced sex drive or intimacy 
  • Loss of energy or increased fatigue
  • Feeling worthless or guilty
  • Thoughts of self harm, death or suicide

Risk factors for depression:

Depression can affect anyone and many factors can contribute to depression:

  • Biochemistry: Imbalance of chemicals in the brain.
  • Environmental factors: Continuous exposure to violence, neglect, abuse or deprivation may trigger vulnerability to depression.
  • Genetics: Depression can run in families, twin, and adoption studies.
  • Personality: People with low self-esteem, who are easily overwhelmed by stress, appear to be more likely to experience depression.

Treatment options for depression:

  • Eye Movement desensitisation Reprocessing (EMDR) is an effective treatment for prolonged stress that may be causing depression, such as alcohol, addictions, bereavement and trauma.
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a talking therapy that can help you manage your problems by changing the way you think and behave.
  • Medication: Brain chemistry may contribute to an individual’s depression and may factor into their treatment. For this reason, antidepressants might be prescribed to help modify one’s brain chemistry.