The facts:

  • Approximately one in five Australians will experience depression in their lifetime
  • Help for depression is available
  • Treatments include evidence-based psychological treatments like Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
  • The highly trained and experienced psychologists at Seed Psychology can help you regain your health and wellbeing

What is depression?

We all have bad days now and then. It is normal to feel sad or down when dealing with difficult personal situations. These feelings are usually short-term and don’t affect our ability to manage daily life.

Being depressed is more than just a low mood or feeling sad. It can pervade every aspect of life. It has physical, psychological and cognitive impacts, which may impair social and occupational function. Depression can be persistent and long-lasting, reducing our confidence and ability to cope with life’s challenges.

What are the symptoms?

Depression can present differently in each person. Common signs and symptoms include:

  • Feelings of sadness, despair or unhappiness most of the day, nearly every day
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in usual activities
  • Changes in appetite
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Decreased energy levels and/or motivation
  • Poor concentration
  • Feelings of hopelessness and helplessness
  • Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide

What are its causes?

Depression is common and can affect anyone. Potential factors that may contribute to its development and maintenance include:

  • Family history of depression
  • Stressful events (such as bereavement, relationship breakdown, major life changes, and job loss)
  • Lack of positive social support
  • Neurobiological or hormonal factors
  • Other mental or physical health conditions
  • Limited coping strategies and unhelpful patterns of behaviour
  • Personality attributes, such as low self-esteem, neuroticism and interpersonal sensitivity

Depressed mood can lead to depressed thinking, actions, relationships and physical state. These are maintaining factors which can make it difficult to recover.

It is sometimes difficult to differentiate between being depressed and experiencing normal sadness. If you believe you or someone you know may be depressed, it’s worth asking the following questions:

Are there any precipitating factors? Depression can develop in the absence of any discernible cause. If you recently experienced a significant loss, it is normal to grieve. This may not be depression. Sometimes there is seemingly no reason for the way we feel. This can be distressing in itself.

Does it feel different from normal sadness? The quality of being depressed is different from being blue.

Have you noticed other signs or symptoms accompanying your mood change? Depression is usually associated with the signs and symptoms listed above.

We tend to use the general term depression. In fact, there are many types of depression, including Major Depressive Disorder, Antenatal and Postnatal Depression, Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder, Persistent Depressive Disorder (or Dysthymia), Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder and Seasonal Affective Disorder.

There are also other mental health disorders of which being depressed is one component. These include Bipolar Disorder and other mood and anxiety disorders.

No matter what your depression looks or feels like, whatever its causes, help is available. If you are experiencing one or more of the symptoms listed above to a severe degree, please contact us to arrange an appointment.

What are the treatment options?

Research has shown that evidence-based psychological treatments such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) are an effective treatment for depression. CBT can help treat the underlying causes, rather than just the symptoms.

CBT and other psychological treatments can help you to learn new coping strategies that will enable you to manage life’s challenges with more resilience. These techniques can empower you to make positive lifestyle changes, improve your self-esteem and reconnect with personal values and goals.

In more severe cases, medication may be used alongside psychological therapy.

At Seed Psychology, our highly trained and experienced psychologists can help you to treat your depression and regain your health and wellbeing.

Contact us now to book an appointment.