What is depression?
Everybody will feel stressed, irritable, exhausted and sad some of the time in their lives. This is completely normal and all part of being human. Sometimes this can be because of a stressful event happening in our lives and when we get through this period we start to feel better. However for those of us who suffer from depression this low mood and other depressive symptoms can easily increase and become worse. This can happen even though some of the life problems have been addressed. About 25% of people will be affected by depression at some time in their lives. It can affect people of any gender, ethnicity, age and nationality.
Annemarie Lambe a clinical psychologist here at Barrenjoey Psychology has commented that often she has seen people who say “oh I am not depressed because I do not want to end my life, it is not that bad.” Our trained psychologists on the northern beaches know suicidal thinking and self harm are symptoms of severe depression but there are many other signs and symptoms of depression.
What are some signs of depression?
Being sad or tearful is not always the first sign of becoming depressed. There might be other feelings we have such as worthlessness, anger, or having no motivation. There might be changes in our behaviour like being exhausted all the time and having no energy.
Below is a list which shows the most common feelings, thoughts, behaviours and physical symptoms of depression.
How you might be feeling:
- Feeling sad all the time
- Finding you cannot get any pleasure or enjoyment from the activity that you used to
- Not feeling confident and having low self worth
- Worrying more about everything
- Feelings of helplessness and/or hopelessness
- Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
- Finding you are irritable and/or angry more often than usual
What you might be thinking:
- Having more difficulty concentrating and/or remembering things
- Thinking more about suicide and death
- Finding you are struggling to make decisions
- Noticing you are constantly thinking negative and/or anxious thoughts
What you might do or say:
- Withdrawing socially and finding excuses to avoid other people, sometimes even your close friends
- Finding it is an effort to go anywhere or do anything
- Not taking care of yourself e.g not eating healthy foods or drinking too much alcohol
The psychologists at Barrenjoey Psychology have sound professional training in the assessment and treatment of depression. We know from the research once you have suffered a depressive episode in your life the research shows you have an almost 50% chance of having another episode of depression. This means it is important you develop some sort of toolkit to use if you are stressed or have the early signs of depression.
The good news is psychological treatment for depression has come a long way and it is now very effective usually in a short period of time. Some types of depression will require treatment with an anti depressant medication others can be effectively treated with a short course of sessions with a trained psychologist. There are different types of depression such as dysthymia, bipolar disorder and cyclothymic disorder as well as major depressive disorder so it is important you have a thorough clinical assessment with an experienced psychologist or clinical psychologist. The psychologist you see at Barrenjoey Psychology on our northern beaches will determine which type of depression you are suffering from in the first assessment session. our psychologists have sound clinical skills and they will provide you with information to help you understand your depression better and work with you to decide on an evidence based treatment method.
If you are in crisis or require urgent care please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or call 000 for an ambulance.