Depression is a mood disorder that can affect anyone, with symptoms including low mood, lack of motivation, and feeling helpless or worthless. It is often described as the “common cold” of mental health problems and can be challenging to differentiate from normal sadness.
Seeking a professional diagnosis is essential, as Depression can be treated with psychological therapies such as cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) or interpersonal therapy (IT), as well as medication for severe cases.
What is Depression?
Depression is a controversial term that can mean different things to different people. However, it is defined by the range of symptoms it causes, such as low mood and lack of motivation. Depression can occur as a reaction to life events, such as abuse or family breakdown, or run in families as a hereditary trait. It can often develop alongside anxiety.
How is Depression Different from Sadness?
While sadness is a natural emotion, Depression is characterized by increased intensity and duration of negative emotions and thinking patterns. Depression can be a reaction to life events or a hereditary trait, and feelings of helplessness and worthlessness are common signs.
How Do I Know If I Have Depression?
It is important to establish a diagnosis of Depression by seeking a professional assessment. Symptoms may include:
- A depressed mood.
- Poor motivation.
- Feelings of guilt or worthlessness.
- Difficulties concentrating or sleeping.
- Lack of interest in hobbies or social activities.
- Thoughts of death or suicide.
Psychological treatments, such as CBT or IT, are recommended by NICE for Depression irrespective of the severity, with medication prescribed for severe cases or those present for a long time.
Help for Depression for those in London or Birmingham
Psychological treatments for Depression involve weekly sessions lasting between 16-20 sessions, with the length of treatment varying depending on the severity and duration of the condition. The more severe the Depression, the longer the treatment required. Other factors, such as ongoing stress or delayed treatment, can also affect therapy. CBT is typically the first type of intervention offered, with other established therapies such as Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy, Metacognitive Therapy for Depression, and Systemic Therapy available if CBT is ineffective. It is important to seek treatment even if it doesn’t feel like the right time, as delaying treatment can worsen symptoms.
What are five tips to deal with Depression I can use now?
- Seek professional help: It is essential to seek the guidance of a mental health professional for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.
- Stick to a healthy routine: Set up a healthy eating, sleeping, and exercise routine to help manage symptoms.
- Connect with others: Social support from loved ones and a support group can help alleviate feelings of isolation and loneliness.
- Practice self-care: Engage in activities that bring you joy and relaxation, such as hobbies or mindfulness meditation.
- Monitor your progress: Keep track of your symptoms and discuss any changes with your mental health provider to adjust your treatment plan accordingly.
Depression is a common mental health problem that can affect anyone. Seeking a professional diagnosis and treatment is essential, as psychological therapies such as CBT or IT, as well as medication for severe symptoms, can effectively manage the symptoms of Depression. While the severity and duration of Depression can affect the length of treatment required, seeking help and beginning treatment as soon as possible is the best course of action.