Getting to know the big D – Depression
We all feel sad or ‘down’ from time to time – it’s part of being human.
For young people and adults, it’s normal to have occasional mood swings, to feel unmotivated, irritable sometimes, and to be sensitive to rejection and criticism. This can make it harder to tell whether you’re experiencing “normal” feelings or whether you are becoming depressed.
What is depression?
Depression is one of the most common health issues for young people in Australia. Around one in 35 young Australians aged 4-17 experience a depressive disorder. For adults, in any one year, around 1 million Australian adults have depression.
Depression (“major depression”) is a mental illness characterised by feelings of sadness that lasts longer than usual, affect most parts of your life and stop you enjoying the things that you used to.
You may be experiencing depression if, for more than two weeks, you’ve felt sad, depressed or irritable most of the time, or you’ve lost interest or pleasure in your usual activities. Other symptoms may include:
- Loss of interest in food or eating too much, leading to weight loss or gain
- Having trouble sleeping (getting to sleep and/or staying asleep), or oversleeping and staying in bed most of the day
- Feeling tired most of the time, or lacking energy and motivation
- Difficulty concentrating and making decisions
- Feeling worthless or guilty a lot of the time
- Feeling everything has become ‘too hard’
- Having thoughts of death or suicide
- People with depression might have other mental or physical health problems as well, such as anxiety, or using cigarettes, alcohol or illegal drugs excessively.
What can we do about depression?
According to the Australian Psychological Society, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Behavioural Activation (BA) are recommended as treatment for depression in adults. There is also substantial peer reviewed evidence to suggest that Acceptance and Committment Therapy (ACT) is an effective treatment for depression.
Generally speaking, the treatments’ primary purposes are to:
- identify the issues that keep the depression ongoing,
- be aware of them and practice skills and tools to help you move out of the vicious cycle that’s depression.
In therapy, we’d usually chat about:
- significant events that have occurred that have shaped who you are,
- the important relationships in your life,
- the way you deal with thoughts and feelings, and
- promote actions that help you towards your goals whilst reducing unhelpful behaviours.
Therapy with Justin @LivingLifePsychology
What do clients say about psychological therapy?
“At times I forget the faces of all those who helped me along the way to recovery; in the numerous hospitals, doctor’s offices, counselling offices, and psychiatric practices. But I will never forget the feeling of being treated with kindness, understanding, and compassion. When I get on the edge of relapsing back into depression and suicidal thoughts, I remember that I am not alone and that I do have people to talk to”
Bondi Junction Consulting Rooms
Level 3, 1 Rowe St
Bondi Junction NSW 2022
(Opposite train/bus interchange)
Bookings by appointment only
(02) 8964 8090
Or click here to contact me.