Have I got depression?
We all feel low from time to time. Depression is more than that. If you are feeling low or sad for a period of time extending over weeks or months, then perhaps you are suffering from depression. Depression is mental health condition but can have physical symptoms associated with it as well. Someone suffering from Depression will feel low, sad, anxious, angry, tired and may have trouble sleeping. This will lead to low energy levels. There might be some low self-worth feelings as well which then might lead to thoughts of harming yourself.
Depression can be brought on through various life changes and events e.g. bereavement, loss of job, or postnatal depression (after the birth of a child). It can also be brought on by winter season (SAD or Season Affective Disorder).
If you think you have depression then you may want to think about speaking to your GP or call the NHS on 111. If you have already done so and/or think that talking therapy through counselling can help you then please read on.
Can you do anything to help yourself?
There are a number of things you can do to help yourself. For example:
- Breathing exercises. Take up Yoga or practice deep breathing and relaxation techniques. This is the easiest to do and takes very little effort. It can be done anywhere anytime.
- Get a good night's sleep. This can prove difficult if your body is not physically tired due to lack of physical activity or mental stimulation.
- Exercise. This has a double effect in producing the chemicals to make you feel better and in helping you sleep better. Go for a small walk if nothing else.
- Healthy Diet. Good nutrition is essential to get energy into your body.
- Reduce alcohol consumption. Alcohol is in fact a depressent so it has the opposite effect to acting as a stimulant.
Doing all of them might be a bit overwhelming. So pace yourself and maybe do only one to start with and gradually build it up.
How can I help you with your Depression?
Depending on the severity of the Depression and the trigger event/circumstances or other reason I may have to adopt a different approach to working with you. We can work in a cognitive way and/or an existential and mindful way initially. This will help you in the immediacy of things and will also give you some coping strategies to use. When you are ready, and if you want to, we can develop the session into talking about things that might lie beyond the here and now and have roots in something deeper. I will check with you frequently to ensure that you are comfortable with the style of working. Any changes will be done with your agreement and participation. If the depression is brought on by life events, through bereavement for example or loss of job, then it may help you to talk about them as well.