Sometimes referred to as a “black cloud,” depression is a debilitating psycho-social disorder that affects approximately 1 in 7 of all Australians aged between 16 and 80. It can have an impact on many areas of your life including work, social, and intimate relationships.

Depression doesn’t mean just the normal feelings of sadness that everyone experiences when life gets difficult. It can be sadness that doesn’t go away, or a loss of interest or pleasure in the things you used to enjoy, plus a range of other changes in the way you feel, think or act.

If these feelings last for more than 2 weeks, it could be depression. If you think you could be depressed, the first step to getting better is talking to someone about it. If you feel life is not worth living, you need to get help immediately by calling the Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467 and/or your GP.

Common symptoms of depression include:

  • low mood or a loss of interest or pleasure in things you used to enjoy;
  • a change in your weight or appetite (an increase or a decrease);
  • insomnia, or sleeping more;
  • feeling restless or slowed down;
  • fatigue or loss of energy;
  • loss of sex-drive;
  • feelings of worthlessness, or excessive or inappropriate guilt;
  • problems concentrating or making decisions;
  • less ability to control emotions such as pessimism, anger, guilt, irritability and anxiety;
  • pronounced mood swings throughout the day;
  • recurrent thoughts of death, or thinking about or attempting suicide.

Depression counselling can help by:

  • enhancing understanding and development of adaptive coping strategies
  • developing insight into life patterns that may lead to repeated negative experiences including depression
  • identifying negative beliefs about self, others and the world and restructuring these thoughts and core beliefs
  • addressing traumatic past experiences that impact on the present
  • managing the events that lead to the depressed mood
  • creating strategies to improve social support networks
  • learning meditative, relaxation, and other techniques to improve quality of life
  • What Are The Causes?

    Depression can be a result of an interaction of a number of factors including:

    Environmental factors – for example, stress associated with certain milestone stages of your life, such as puberty, middle age or retirement, stress resulting from personal tragedies, family breakdown and unemployment can all contribute to becoming depressed.

    Biological factors – an imbalance of the chemicals in the brain that regulate mood and activity can alter someone’s thoughts, emotions and behaviour, resulting in depression.

    Genetic factors – people can inherit a predisposition to develop depression.

    Personality – some personality types are more prone to depression. People who set very high standards for themselves may be easily depressed if they don’t live up to their self-imposed high expectations.

    Thinking style – people with depression often think in unrealistic or negative ways which may cause or maintain depression. Past depressive episodes – once a person has experienced an episode of Major Depression, they may be more likely to develop depression in the future.

    Physical illness or medical conditions – some medical conditions and medications used to treat physical illnesses can trigger depression, with research suggesting that people who have depression and another medical conditions tend to have more severe symptoms of both illnesses.

    Alcohol and other recreational drugs – some recreational drugs can make depression worse or even trigger depression in some people.

    More recent research indicates that inflammatory processes and changes in gut microbiota (known as dysbiosis) are associated with the onset and progression of depression.

  • How does depression start?

    Most people with major depression first experience it in their late 20s. Children can become depressed, but it is more common in teenagers.

    The symptoms of depression usually develop over days or weeks, although a low mood might start in the months before. It can be triggered by life events, or it may happen out of the blue.

  • How long does depression last?

    With effective treatment and appropriate depression counselling, about half the population experiencing moderate depression will feel much better within 6 to 8 weeks. For those who don’t receive treatment, the duration of depression varies widely: some will get better after several months, some will recover partially, and others will continue to be depressed long term.

  • How can a psychologist help?

    There is consistent and reliable evidence for the effectiveness of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Interpersonal Psychotherapy and Brief Psychodynamic Psychotherapy, in the treatment of depression in adults. Additionally, Eye Movement Desensitiation and Reprocessing (EMDR), Solution-Focused Brief Therapy, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT), and Psychoeducation have been proven effective in selected types of depression, with more studies emerging now proving that Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) are also effective treatment modalities.

Depression Counsellingin Brisbane

Your psychologist will know which techniques lead to the best outcomes for your particular type of depression. If you think that you or someone you know is seeking depression counselling and treatment and could benefit from seeing a psychologist, please give us a call on 07 3831 4452. Our receptionists are very kind and friendly and are always keen to assist with any questions you may have.

We look forward to being of help!

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