What is depression?
"Depression is a low mood that lasts for a long time and affects your everyday life.
In its mildest form, depression can mean just being in low spirits. It doesn’t stop you leading your normal life but makes everything harder to do and seem less worthwhile. At its most severe, depression can be life-threatening because it can make you feel suicidal or simply give up the will to live." Mind website 2018
Depression is an illness that has a significant effect on many, including those close to the depressed person, such as children. Rapid diagnosis and treatment is the key to helping depressed people.
Depression affects us in many different ways:
Biological – sleep disturbance, loss of appetite, loss of weight, fatigue.
Emotional – low mood, cannot enjoy or find pleasure in things, feeling empty, anger, resentment, shame, guilt.
Motivation – apathy, loss of energy and interest, things seem pointless or hopeless.
Cognitive – poor concentration and memory, constantly worrying about change.
Evaluations – negative ideas about self, the world and the future.
Behaviour – Lowered activity, social withdrawal, agitation or retardation. Problems in social relationships are common in depression.
During your initial assessment we will discuss your presenting issues and if you believe you are depressed then you can complete a PHQ-9 score sheet which will give you a clear indication as to the level of your depression. Using this information, we can discuss your treatment plan, a clinical term which explains how we will work together and what we will focus on.
There are many different issues that affect a depressed person and so we need to spend time looking at many different aspects of your life.
I would generally start by enquiring about the kind of relationships you had with your parents and significant others during your formative years. We would talk about how you experienced your early years and how they may have shaped your inner world. We would be curious about your typical beliefs and feelings about yourself and others. From there we would look at your current beliefs about yourself and others. It is often helpful to address the issue of trust, explore your assumptions and attitudes about life in general. Sometimes depressed people feel trapped and if relevant we will explore how and why this may be so. We will spend time exploring how to improve your current situation. It is important that we have a collaborative process which will lead you to having a greater insight of how you are now.
You will be presented with choices and new opportunities. The formation of your treatment plan is always discussed and agreed with yourself as it provides the springboard to move onto our therapeutic work. Depending on you, your plan can be focussed and structured or you can explore in your own way in your own time.