We all have bad days – days where we feel a bit down, days where we feel a bit edgy, days when things don’t go quite as we’d planned. But these sort of emotions are rarely described as clinical depression. Rather, clinical depression tends to be more severe and debilitating. People with depression may have trouble getting out of bed, their eating habits might change, or they might lose interest in their work or in spending time with friends. People who experience major episodes of depression tend to experience feelings of deep unhappiness, low self-esteem, and desperate helpless. These feelings may be traceable to a particular event, situation or trauma, or they may come along out of the blue.
If you or someone you know is experiencing this type of Major Depression, it’s important to get help quickly. A professional counsellor or psychologist is trained to identify the signs of depression and assist you to overcome it’s symptoms and feel like yourself again.
For some people, depression might be how you’ve always felt. Dysthymia, or chronic low mood, describes a low-lying form of depression that is constant and long-lasting. People with Dysthymia are usually well-functioning – they are able to maintain a job, and they can form and hold onto relationships – but dysthymia takes the joy out of life. People suffering from this sort of depression don’t ever really feel happy or satisfied. Life might be, objectively speaking, good, but a person with Dysthymia doesn’t really feel satisfied. They tend to go through life feeling flat, as if their capacity for true happiness and joyful experience is restricted.
But depression is a common experience for many Australians and help is available.
Statistics provided by Beyond Blue suggest that around 1,000,000 Australians experience some kind of depression each year. One in six Australians will suffer from depression during their life, and the prevalence of depression is slightly higher in males than in females. Young people are also susceptible to depression.
How does depression happen?
The cause of depression is rarely obvious. Psychologists agree that the cause of depression includes a combination of your upbringing and life experiences, the chemicals in your body, and your genetic history, that is the cause can be traced back to physical as well as psychological elements.
There is no doubt that depression can be brought on by such things as:
- chronic pain
- drug use
- the birth of a baby (post-natal depression)
- a mid-life crisis
but it can also just appear of it’s own accord and with no obvious or traceable cause.
Risk of Suicide
Suicide is a real risk for people suffering a Major Depressive Episodes, and these people should be monitored constantly. A threat of suicide is rarely a hollow threat. Instead, it suggests that a person is feeling desperate. It is also a call for help and should be heeded. The Australian Bureau of Statistics reports that in 2009, suicide was the 10th leading cause of death for males. Female suicide is a little less common but still problematic. Suicide prevention can be effective, but it is important that the depression be responded to as soon as possible.
Generally, if your depression or low mood has been continuing for more than 2 weeks, it is recommended to seek the help of a qualified counsellor or registered psychologist. A professional counsellor can help you understand and overcome your depression. A combination of discussion, reflection and practical exercises and advice will often be employed. If your depression is particularly severe or long-lasting, your counsellor may also recommend that you see a psychiatrist to consider medication for depression. Ideally, medication should only be prescribed with monitoring and support of a therapist.
At Associated Counsellors Bondi Junction, we work with highly experienced and skill counsellors who can help you fight depression. Call us on tel. 8002 1022 and book in to see someone now. Don’t wait – start working on a better life for yourself today.