AREAS OF EXPERTISE
What is depression?
Counselling is an effective depression treatment. Learn to identify the warning signs and to develop a plan of action before things get out of control. Learn new ways of approaching tasks, solving problems, and communicating assertively.
Depression is an illness that can affect all aspects of your life and the lives of those around you. It can be debilitating and affect your day-to-day functioning, eating and sleeping habits, relationships and your view of the future.
It is normal to feel sad some of the time. Especially after something bad has happened. But with depression you may feel sad most of the time for no apparent reason, and for weeks on end.
The important thing is to seek depression help early.
What are the signs of depression?
The most common signs of depression are an intense sad mood that can last most of the day.
It may continue for a period of at least two weeks, and include a loss of interest in activities. Additionally, a few other symptoms may be experienced such as disturbed sleep and decreased energy. You may feel more irritable or sensitive than usual, have difficulty remembering or making decisions. And in some cases, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, excessive crying and thoughts of suicide, restlessness, or feeling lonely and isolated.
There may be more drug or alcohol use than normal and feelings of not coping. It is common for people who are depressed to also suffer an anxiety disorder.
If you have experienced some of these signs over a two-week period consult your GP for treatment as soon as possible. Or seek information from Beyondblue, a national depression initiative.
What causes depression?
Depression is not causes by a single factor but by a combination of things working together. Someone can be more at risk of developing a depressive disorder if there is a history of depression in their family. However this does not mean they will get depression.
There are usually other factors that interact, such as biological factors of brain hormones and chemicals. As well as personality factors such as worrying a lot, being pessimistic, self-critical and judgmental. Or having a negative thinking style, low self-esteem or social anxiety.
Stress has been found to be a significant contributor to depression. Especially the impact of living with long-term stressful life circumstances. Recent illnesses, recovering from an accident, or suffering the loss of a loved one commonly associated with depression.
The important thing is to recognise that you may have depression and to seek early help for depression. If you are concerned about someone who show signs of depression and may be suicidal, you can contact Beyondblue or the Blackdog Institute for assistance.
Depression treatment is highly effective. The most effective forms of counselling/psychological treatment for depression are:
- Cognitive Based Therapy – for mild or moderate depression. Weekly sessions for a number of months. Focuses on monitoring your thoughts and changing faulty thinking patterns.
- Interpersonal Therapy – more suited for severe depression (generally combined with medication). Short-term, typically between 5-10 sessions or longer. Focuses on strengthening social support and interpersonal relationships.
- Problem-Solving Therapy – works on this skill and the attitudes towards it as a means of effectively coping with stressful life events
- Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy – preventing relapse to depression by learning mindfulness exercises that create more awareness of the mind-body connection and being in the present moment.
Meditation therapy has been shown to be most effective in preventing relapse to depression.
For urgent assistance contact Lifeline (1300-131114), Kids Helpline (1800-551-800), or Beyondblue 1300-22-436).
Depending on the severity of depression you may need to seek assessment and medical treatment through your GP.
Some hospital and government funded clinics also provide individual or group CBT. Alternately, you may decide to manage the illness yourself and seek help from a self-help book or website program. This may include resources such as the free online MoodGYM through the Australian National University, Canberra.
How Linda can help with depression treatment
If you choose counselling for depression treatment, Linda will work with you to find strategies to manage your life at this difficult time.
She will help you with behavioural and lifestyle changes, managing your moods, and addressing types of thinking that make things seem worse. It is important to gain back a sense of control and create a healthy balance in order to feel more energized, hopeful and optimistic about the future.
Contact Linda Magson, Sydney counsellor specialising in depression therapy.
Please note: You may be entitled to a rebate for counselling through your health fund as Linda is a registered provider of counselling services.
Disclaimer: the information on these pages is not intended as advice, or for diagnosis or treatment. You need to consult your doctor for these things without delay.