AJH Psychology

Therapy - Counselling - Psychological Services

Depression

Some people who have never experienced depression may think that being depressed means being sad or feeling a bit low. In reality, depression is a serious condition that comprises a number of psychological, social, and physical symptoms that affect people in all aspects of their lives.

Depressed people tend to experience continuous low mood or sadness which may involve having a sense of being worthless or useless. They may also experience emptiness or a lack of meaning or purpose. Many depressed individuals also experience difficulties thinking, concentrating or making decisions. Additionally, depressed individuals may report having less interest in doing things or not experiencing pleasure in engaging in activities that they previously enjoyed doing. Instead they may feel that “they don’t care anymore”. In a similar vein, for some people, depression entail that they are no longer interested in meeting other people. They may then feel guilty for taking distance from others and also for being sick and for not being able to work. All these difficult symptoms may overwhelm the depressed individual giving them a sense of hopelessness. Depression has been described by depressed people as “living in a black hole”, “feeling dead”, or “being physically drained (Maxmen et al., 2009).

Although friends and family of a depressed individual may understand that the depressed person is ill, they may become impatient that the affected person appears not follow their advice or doesn’t seem to do anything to help herself (Maxmen et al., 2009). What those individuals do not understand it is that depressed people are caught in a vicious cycle. Indeed, depressed people generally feel that they are trapped in a deep hole but they feel that they don’t have the ability to take themselves out of it. This leaves them with a sense of being worthless for not doing anything to help themselves. In turn, that makes them feel worse about themselves, which then perpetuates a vicious cycle that maintains their depression. Many people who suffer from depression also experience symptoms of anxiety.

I recognise the extent of the pain that sufferers from depression experience and how it pervades every aspect of their lives, but I also want to point out that depression can be treated even in the most severe cases (US National Institute of Mental Health, 2015).

Treatment of Depression

When treating depression, I tend to integrate a number of therapeutic approaches that will be tailored to your presentation and specific needs. If you need help with issues concerning depression please contact me.

Sources:
NHS.uk - Symptoms of Depression

American Psychiatric Association (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.

Maxmen, J.R., Ward, N.G. & Kilgus, M. (2009). Essential Psychopathology and Its Treatment. London: W W Norton.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Mental Health. (2015). Depression (NIH Publication No. 15-3561). Bethesda, MD: U.S. Government Printing Office.