WHAT IS DEPRESSION?
In it's mildest form, depression is having a low mood or spirits. This doesn't particularly interfere with your everyday life, it just feels harder to do things and sometimes things feel less worthwhile.
In it's most severe form, depression can be life-threatening. You may feel as though you want to give up, you may feel suicidal or lose the will to live.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF DEPRESSION?
Some of the symptoms of depression are sadness, feeling weepy, feeling hopeless or helpless, self-loathing, experiencing a loss of interest in your friends and/or in things that you normally enjoy doing, disrupted sleep patterns, feeling tired all the time, a change in eating or drinking patterns, negative or intrusive thoughts which are unmanageable, change in mood, irritability, aggression, unexplained aches and pains, loss of sex drive, difficulty concentrating.
When suffering from depression you may experience some or all of these symptoms and they may go on for months, even years.
These symptoms may have such a negative impact on your life that just living and carrying out every day tasks becomes hard, if not unbearable.
Your GP may be able to prescribe anti-depressants which will help to correct any chemical imbalance which is causing the depression.
HOW CAN COUNSELLING HELP WITH DEPRESSION?
When working with someone who is experiencing depression, at whatever level, I would allow them the space to get to know what is happening in their life to cause them to feel depressed. By getting to know the feelings underneath the depression they will be able to learn how to express these feelings in a healthy way which will, hopefully, lead to them being able to find solutions to their problems.
I would also help them to challenge the negative and intrusive thoughts with the aim of changing their thinking and behaviour.
Past experiences can also have an impact on current moods, thoughts and feelings. By exploring these experiences with you I would aim to help you to understand what caused the difficulties in the first place which, in turn, would help you to manage your thoughts and feelings.