Depression is the state we experience when feeling very sad/ low for an extended period. Depression can indicate that we need to make changes in our life and/or seek professional help. If left untreated, it can become debilitating. We will all have times in our life where we are sad or grieving, or have less energy than usual. The key is degree and if it persists longer than two weeks.
Signs of depression include:
Lack of energy/ motivation
Sad or flat affect
Difficulty focusing, concentrating, retaining information
Difficulty making simple decisions
Increase or decrease in appetite
Increase or decrease in hours of sleep
No longer gaining pleasure from things that used to be rewarding
I must confess that when I was younger, depression was not one of my favourite areas. I was not fully grasping the depths of despair or how difficult it was for the depressed person to take even the smallest of steps. I now quite enjoy working with clients who struggle with depression. I can quickly see where the client is and where they are capable of going, and I am happy to be part of that journey.
There are several good strategies for treating depression such as: gaining insight into the underlying issues, identifying and challenging the negative thoughts associated with the depression, addressing self-esteem issues, changing behaviours that are maintaining or increasing the depression, and consulting your doctor or counsellor about the pros and cons of trying an anti-depressant. Ideally you want to address the depression as early as possible.
For more information or to book a counselling session, contact Heather Sutherland.