“I don’t see a point anymore to be honest. I just don’t want to get up in the morning. I can’t sleep well. I can’t be bothered. I’m just… sad… all the time. And I want it all to end. What is wrong with me? Why is everyone else ok?”
At any one time, 1 in 10 people are experiencing the symptoms of depression. It’s a really common reason for trying therapy. If this sounds a bit like you, talking with a therapist might help you to move past this and feel better.
What is Depression?
Feelings of stress, unhappiness or anxiety during difficult times is a normal part of being human.
A low mood may improve after a short period of time, especially if there is a trigger you know will pass.
Depression is more than simply feeling unhappy or fed up for a few days.
Most people go through periods of feeling down, but when you're depressed you feel persistently sad for weeks or months, rather than just a few days.
Often sadness does not adequately describe the feeling.
Depression is to sadness what the flu is to a cold.
Some people think depression is trivial and not a genuine health condition.
They're wrong – it is a real illness with real symptoms.
Depression isn't a sign of weakness or something you can "snap out of" by "pulling yourself together".
It is long term, seriously low mood which if not dealt with can lead to self-harm and even suicide
What does Depression feel like?
Depression affects people in different ways and can cause a wide variety of symptoms.
These range from lasting feelings of unhappiness and hopelessness, to losing interest in the things you used to enjoy and feeling very tearful.
Many people with depression also have symptoms of anxiety.
There can be physical symptoms too, such as feeling constantly tired, sleeping badly, having no appetite or sex drive, and various aches and pains.
The symptoms of depression range from mild to severe. At its mildest, you may simply feel persistently low in spirit, while severe depression can make you feel suicidal, that life is no longer worth living.
Sometimes there's a trigger for depression. Life-changing events, such as bereavement, losing your job or even having a baby, can bring it on.
People with a family history of depression are more likely to experience it themselves.
But you can also become depressed for no obvious reason, even if on the surface of things, your life looks great from the outside
What causes Depression?
In principle, depression can arise for any reason or (seemingly) none at all.
Some people are prone to lower mood and occasionally slip into depression, others have experienced something that might have made them depressed.
Some common contribution factors include:
How can we treat Depression?
Talking therapies are very effective at improving mood and relieving depression.
This will involve working out why you are feeling that way, what makes it better and worse and how to use that information to improve your mood.
Therapy often starts with talking about the issue at hand and what you are doing daily at present to feel better.
We then design some changes together which are designed to get you feeling slightly better, quickly.
We can then delve into your past a bit more to see if we can work out what might have made you susceptible to feeling this way.
With time and self-knowledge, you will gain the ability to self-regulate your mood better and so not feel so sad all the time.
We could also resolve the issues which made you more likely to be depressed in the first place.
From this, your mood will improve and you will be left more resilient and better equipped to manage your mood in future.
I offer all clients a free initial consultation. It gives you a chance to see if this will work for you without charge.