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Counselling for Depression & Low Mood
By 2020 depression will be the second most disabling condition in the World after heart disease. A significant number of sufferers will go undiagnosed and therefore untreated.
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Who is it for?
Do you feel sad for much of the time and can’t seem to snap out of it? Do you feel you have nothing to look forward to? Do you look back on your life and see a lot of failures? Do you no longer get real satisfaction from anything? Do you feel guilty a lot of the time? Do you feel disappointed in yourself? Do you feel irritated much of the time? Do you struggle to make decisions? Do you have to push yourself really hard to get anything done? Do you struggle to get to sleep and then wake after only a few hours? Do you feel tired easily? Is your appetite not as good as it used to be? Are you less interested in sex than you used to be?
If you find yourself answering yes to one or more of the above you may be suffering from depression and may benefit from some counselling to help you to improve your mood and get your life back on track.
A Recent Testimonial
Clare - Clapham“You’ve been there with me right in my darkest times – I’ve been more vulnerable with you than anyone in my life and shared all of my darkest fears. What you do for people who are struggling is such a great thing………So from the bottom of my heart – thank you! You’ve helped me to change everything I attract in my life, the way I think, the way I will one day parent and the path that now lies in front of me. In one way you could say that your impact will be seen for generations to come”.
How It Works?
Step 1In your first couple of sessions your psychologist will ask you questions to enable them to understand why your symptoms have developed and what approach will bring you the quickest and most enduring relief.
Step 2Treatment will then typically consist of two phases, each tailored to your specific needs. The first will focus on bringing you relief from your symptoms so that you are able to function better on a day to day basis. This may involve learning a set of techniques both practical and psychological that you will need to practice outside of sessions to increase thoughts and behaviours that will counteract feelings of depression.
Step 3Once you are feeling better and able to do what you need to do each day without feeling overwhelmed, the focus of your sessions will shift to ensuring that the changes you have made continue and that feelings of depression will not return. Typically this will involve determining what made you vulnerable to depression in the first place and helping you to develop ways of protecting yourself against this in the future.
Step 4Finally there will be a period of time where the focus of your treatment will be on you consolidating what you have learnt, building your confidence in your ability to manage your mood independently and with your psychologists help, tweaking your approach to this were necessary until you feel ready to manage on your own.
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All of our Psychologists offer Depression counselling, click here to view the team.
How Common is Depression?
According to the Office for National Statistics 10% of the population in Britain suffer from depression. However, as this figure can only be based on those people who seek help the real figure is likely to be significantly higher.
What are the causes of Depression?
There is no single cause for depression but the following factors, or a combination of them, will increase your vulnerability:
Negative and self critical thinking patterns
The way that we think about or interrupt things determines how we feel about them, so if we have a tendency to evaluate events in a negative way we are more likely to feel bad about them. When we feel bad about something we are more likely to interrupt other events negatively and these thoughts will further lower our mood. Over time this cycle of negative thoughts and feelings can spiral down into depression.
People who are self critical are also more vulnerable to developing depression. If you are critical of yourself you will tend to believe that when something goes wrong it is your fault and when something goes well, it was either due to luck or someone else’s actions.
Genetic factorsResearch suggests that some people may have a genetic predisposition to developing depression however this alone is not enough to cause depression. The environment in which we are raised in as children and the world, is pivotal in the onset of depression. For example someone with a genetic predisposition to developing depression who is brought up in a loving and supportive environment where they are taught that they have value, that others will treat them with respect and care and that generally the world is a safe place where most of the times good things happen, is very unlikely to develop depression. However someone without a genetic predisposition to developing depression may nonetheless go on to develop depression if, as a result of their early experiences, they learn to believe that they are worthless and that the world is a dangerous place where they can be expected to be mistreated.
Life EventsStressful and traumatic life events can also leave people vulnerable to depression particularly if they lack the support necessary to cope with them and have a tendency towards self criticism. Experiencing such events in early life in the absence of a supportive and nurturing environment is a particular risk factor for depression later on. The types of life events that may put someone at risk include; death of a loved one, illness, divorce, abusive relationships and financial issues.
What treatment is available for Depression?
The most common types of treatment for Depression are medication and psychological or ‘talking’ therapy (the most effective of these being Cognitive Behavioural Therapy [CBT]). The National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE), the government body responsible for offering guidance on best practice procedure in healthcare recommends the following treatment for depression:
- For Mild Depression – a course of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
- For Moderate to Severe Depression – a combination of medication and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) or Interpersonal Therapy (IPT). Medication will often be used in conjunction with CBT if the individual’s symptoms are such that they are preventing them from engaging in the therapy.
Should you wish to find out more about Depression then you can check out our depression related blog articles here.