We all feel down from time to time. It’s part of being human to feel sad, disappointed or just unenthusiastic occasionally. None of these feelings are symptoms of depression, but if they persist, they may lead to depression.
What is Depression?
The Australian Psychological Society defines depression as:
- Feelings of sadness, emptiness or lowered mood that lasts for most of the day, every day and
- Loss of interest in activities that were previously enjoyable, like going out, seeing friends, or pursuing interestss and hobbies.
If these and other symptoms persist for at least two weeks, they may be a sign of depression.
Some observable symptoms of depression include:
- Significant changes in appetite and/or weight in the absence of dieting
- Difficulty sleeping or excessive sleeping
- Fatigue and loss of energy
- Feelings of worthlessness, helplessness or hopelessness, or excessive guilt
- Trouble concentrating or making decisions
- Decreased interest in sex
- Thoughts of suicide or a feeling that life is not worth living
Early intervention may help alleviate the onset of severe depression, but when depression reaches a severe level, several types of psychological interventions have been proven to be effective:The Australian Psychological Society mentions three evidence-based interventions:
- Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) focuses on unhelpful thoughts about the self, others, and the future which may contribute to depression. The goal of this type of therapy is to identify, examine, and modify these unhelpful thoughts and the behaviours that follow, and increase behaviours that might improve mood and quality of life.
- Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT) involves addressing problems in the person’s relationships and expectations about others that might be contributing to the symptoms of depression.
- Short-term Psychodynamic Psychotherapy (STPP) can help the person to become more aware and reflective of their own feelings, desires, motivations and thoughts. The goals of this therapy are to identify and change unhelpful defences which may be getting in the way of a healthy life, decrease vulnerability to depression, and build resilience.
The APS recommends seeking help when a person’s low mood persists for at least two weeks and effects work, school, home life or relationships. In some cases, medication may be advised and a psychologist may recommend seeking psychiatric help, but diet and exercise may also alleviate the symptoms of depression. Depression should be treated on a case-by-case basis. There are many causes of depression and the best therapy for one individual may not be the best for another.
Leichhardt Psychology Services for Depression
Petrozzi Wellness Center’s Leichhardt psychology services may be able to help you or someone you love overcome depression. Our clinical and coaching psychologists have years of experience and have only one goal in mind: to empower their clients. Contact PWC to discuss your situation and our psychologists will recommend the best course of treatment for your needs.
Also to find out more about the Empowered Women program and retreats run by Suzi Petrozzi go to www.suzipetrozzi.com