Anybody can suffer from feeling a bit “down” following a sad event or when things just haven’t gone to plan, however, when you suffer from Depression you are likely to experience feelings of sadness for much longer, maybe for weeks, months or even longer.
Despite the widely held hypothesis that Depression is some sort of ‘chemical imbalance’ in the brain, the actual scientific evidence that supports this idea is very thin on the ground and there is more evidence supporting the idea that depression is an exaggerated form of sadness that persists for longer than might ‘normally’ be expected.
Neuroscience tells us that a depressed person’s brain does show characteristic levels of certain chemicals that might be considered ‘out of balance’ but there is no evidence that depression is CAUSED by these differences, only that they exist in a depressed person’s brain.
The same chenical signatures are seen in people suffering from grief although this emotion is considered to be quite normal and changes naturally over time (as does depresson in fact!).
This does not detract from the impact that feeling depressed might have on a persons life, but the suggestion that it is some sort of ‘brain disease’ is highly contentious and may contribute to the belief that it can only be overcome through the use of pharmaceutical interventions.
There is plenty of evidence that a person’s limiting beliefs and unhelpful thinking styles can go a long way to contributing to the state and experience of depression.
Because of this, Depression should be regarded as a real condition that can have a very serious impact on one’s life – sometimes the most serious of impacts, but also that it can be helped by learning how to manage unhelpful thinking styles.
The mind is MORE than capable of creating a wide range of REAL physical symptoms as well as being able to influence the neural make-up of the brain, both positively and negatively!
However, all in NOT lost.
The symptoms of Depression can often be effectively treated using skilfully applied Psychology & Psychotherapy principles.
Symptoms of Depression
Some (but not all) symptoms of depression may include:-
- A continuous low mood or sadness
- Feeling hopeless or helpless
- Low self-esteem
- Irritability & Intolerance
- Lack of motivation
- Difficulty making a decision
The majority of sufferers CAN and DO make a complete and lasting recovery when they obtain the right kind of help.
How do I know if I’m Depressed?
Depression can affect people in a wide variety of ways and produce a large number of different symptoms (see above) from feelings of sadness or hopelessness and a loss of interest in things you used to enjoy through to much more significant problems such as total withdrawal from society.
It can lead to physical symptoms too, for example persistent tiredness, lack of ability to sleep and various feelings of aches and pains.
At worst (although this is actually rarer than most people believe) this problem can lead to such feelings of helplessness that suicide can seem like a viable option.
Potential Causes of Depression
As with most psychological problems, specific causes can often be difficult to isolate. Evidence suggests that family histories of depression may lead to a higher chance of developing depressive moods later in life. Some suggest that there may be a genetic pre-disposition to depression, although the evidence is rather tenuous.
People who have experienced physical, emotional or sexual abuse in their lives are often found to suffer from depression, but this is by no means always the case and many people suffering these kinds of trauma go on to lead perfectly normal and trouble free lives. This ability to ‘cope’ with trauma is known as resilience.
Therapy for Depression
Although there is some evidence to suggest that psychodynamic therapy (therapy in which the relationship with the therapist is the primary conduit for recovery) may be more effective for depression than other approaches, CBT has also proven to be highly effective in dealing with this problem.
Why Choose Prevental?
Paul is a highly experienced, academically qualified psychologist with over 30 years experience of working with people to overcome life challenges and achieve life goals.
We are an approved supplier of mental health support services to the NHS Black Country Clinical Commissioning Groups who we have been working with since late 2017.
We have been helping improve people's mental health in the West Midlands since 2009 and have more than 30,000 hours of clinical experience.
Prevental Healthcare are expert mental health professionals dedicated to helping you and your employees thrive.
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