Clinical depression is an emotional, cognitive and physical state that negatively affects a person’s day to day life. Many people might use the term to describe feeling low, downhearted or upset, however, clinical depression is a different feeling compared to the regular ups and downs of life that may affect our mood. Symptoms of clinical depression include feeling a loss of joy and interest in pleasurable activities, sleep difficulties, difficulty initiating activities, avoidance of social contact, hopelessness, worrying, ruminating about negative events, catastrophising, blaming ourselves for things outside of our control. For some people clinical depression is accompanied by hopelessness and suicidal ideation, and this is a sign that they need urgent professional help from a GP, Psychologist or Psychiatrist.
One in five people experience an episode of clinical depression in their lifetime, and depression can be caused by a significant loss or change of life circumstances, or a combination of hereditary and life experiences.
There are a range of psychological and pharmacological treatments available and a combination of both often provides the most effective long term benefit.
Psychological treatment for depression is focussed on exploring and making sense of depressive symptoms, in the context of our personal history and experiences, and working with a Psychologist to cultivating a range of positive cognitive and behavioural strategies to reduce and manage symptoms. Questions to explore in therapy include how our family, educational and cultural experiences have influenced how we see ourselves and the world around us? What kind of thinking style do we have and how does that relate to our clinical symptoms and day to day life. What time of coping strategies are we using? Which ones are helpful and which ones do we need to modify? What are our personal values and needs and how can we get these met.
Psychological treatment for clinical depression is focussed on each person’s unique history, symptoms and goals. If you would like to discuss treatment for clinical depression please contact me.