What is Depression?
Most people feel down every now and again. When a relationship breaks up, you lose your job or someone close to you dies, it’s natural to feel miserable. But when those feelings persist, even when life has gone back to normal, what you could be dealing with is clinical depression, or what doctors call "Major Depressive Disorder".
The incidence of chronic depression is disturbingly high, affecting as many as one in four women and one in six men, and it can have a devastating impact on a victim's family, social and work life and their general state of health. It is not something that should be ignored, but statistics indicate that people can suffer from the condition over a prolonged period, without being aware that they are, indeed, clinically depressed.
Depression can be treated
Many people are prescribed and take anti-depression medication (ADMs). But research studies indicate that at best they suppress symptoms, and are not a cure. Various forms of psychological treatment have at least the same degree of success, do not have the potential highly dangerous side-effects of drugs and also dramatically reduce the risk of relapse after medication
Psychology Melbourne's team of psychologists employ Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and other forms of evidence-based psychotherapy that have been shown to be highly effective in the treatment of depression.
Our practice also employs evidence-based systems that have been shown to produce better outcomes. We offer an initial matching session and conduct regular progress checks to help fulfill our commitment to make psychology work for our clients. Our surveys consistently report a higher than average level of satisfaction.
What are the signs?
Some of the signs of depression include:
- Low mood
- Lack of interest or enjoyment
- Profound and persistent tiredness
- Reduced appetite, or over-eating
- Insomnia or fatigue
- Low or no libido
- Problems with concentration or poor memory
- Aches and pains
What can cause it?
Sometimes there is no obvious reason for depression. It can be a combination of biological, psychological and social things that affect people differently. Some people are more susceptible than others, possibly because of their personality and coping style; childhood trauma including violence; family predisposition or hormonal or other biological factors.
Strategies to help manage depression
- When engaging in pleasurable activities, think about how enjoyable they are and make time for more of them
- Focus on small positive things that happen, or small goals that you accomplish
- Make a list of things that you enjoy or that you are grateful for
When to seek professional assistance
The encouraging thing about depression is that many more well-known people are prepared publicly to talk about their experiences, helping to remove any lingering stigma surrounding the condition and encouraging more people to seek treatment.
Even more encouraging is the fact that depression can be effectively treated by modern psychological methods, allowing those who struggle with the condition to lead full, happy, productive lives. At Psychology Melbourne, our clinicians often use a combination of evidence-based approaches, sometimes alongside medication.