What is depression?
Depression is a term that we hear a lot of these days.
It is not uncommon to have times in your life when you feel sad or low and these feelings usually lift within a few days. However if these feelings persist more than a few days or keep recurring then it could be a sign that you are depressed.
The level of depression that people can feel can be very different. It could be that you are feeling in low spirits where everything in your life seems to take a huge effort; things seem much harder to do than normal and seem less worthwhile. The other end of the scale is where depression can make you feel suicidal and that you do not want to live anymore.
What are the symptoms of depression?
It is estimated that one in ten people in the UK suffer from depression. The numbers are probably much greater than this because of the fact that many people do not seek a diagnosis and treatment for the condition.
Depression can present itself in many ways and it affects your feelings, thoughts and behaviour. These can include problems with sleeping, changes to your weight and difficulties in being able to concentrate on tasks. Low energy is also a sign of depression which can go hand in hand with how much pleasure you take in your activities. You may also experience guilty or worthless feelings and possible thoughts of death or suicide.
It can also manifest itself in various physical symptoms. You may have various aches and pains that do not seem to have a physical cause. This may include chest pain. If you do suffer from frequent chest pain then it is very important to get this checked out by a medical professional as soon as possible. Depression can affect your appetite so that you may eat much more or much less than usual. You may also find that you are using drugs such as nicotine or alcohol more than before.
What are the causes of depression?
As we have discovered depression is different for each and every sufferer and so are the causes of depression. Life events, loss, supressed anger and childhood experiences can all lead to depression. Also some physical conditions, medication and even your diet can cause depression.
So what can you do?
Getting a correct diagnosis from your doctor for depression is a good place to begin. The GP will combine a physical examination with a discussion. The doctor will want to find out how long you have been experiencing the symptoms, along with information about your lifestyle, daily moods and behaviour as well as your past and family history.
You have heard it before but getting more active, eating well and connecting with people can really help alleviate the symptoms of depression. Talking about how you feel can make a very big difference too. There may be someone in your family you can talk to or perhaps a good friend? Charities such as Mind run self-help groups where you can go along to meet others who will share their coping strategies. These groups can help provide mutual support and break down your feelings of isolation.
Psychotherapy is a widely accepted treatment for depression. Psychotherapy helps you to identify your negative feelings and provides you with strategies to cope with and combat your depression. The length of time you will need therapy is different for everyone. By working with your therapist you really can achieve life changing results.
Here at Manchester Institute for Psychotherapy we have experienced counsellors and therapists who can help you with your depression. Our emphasis is on friendliness and providing a safe and warm environment. You can phone the Institute on: 0161-862-9456 to book your initial assessment or contact us via email.