What is Depression
Depression is more than feeling low or moody or sad. It is a serious condition that affects your physical and mental health and is very treatable.
What are the symptoms of depression?
The symptoms of depression include:
- feeling down or irritable for at least two weeks
- a pervasive loss of interest or pleasure
- preoccupation with low self-esteem
- guilt or shame, withdrawal from people and activities
- low energy levels, difficulty in concentrating and experiencing trouble with memory
- changes in appetite such as over eating or under eating
- under sleeping or over sleeping
- increased levels of anger
People with depression often have a lowered libido, seriously question otherwise healthy relationships, may self-medicate with alcohol and/ or drugs and may even consider suicide.
Causes of depression
Life causes depression. According to depression expert, Dr Michael Yapko, the most accurate answer to the question “what causes depression?” is “Many things.” Depression is a multi-dimensional disorder.
It has biological components based in genetics, neurochemistry and physical health. It has psychological components that involve individual factors such as cognitive style, coping style and qualities of personal behaviour. And it has social components, mediated by the quality of one’s relationships including one’s family and the culture one is socialised into.
How can a psychologist help you?
As a student of human behaviour and relationships, my standpoint is that depression is more a social problem than a medical one. This is not to say that medication is not helpful but no amount of medication can address the research finding that the child of depressed parents is anywhere from three to six times more likely to become depressed than the child of a non-depressed parent. How does one explain that although genetics researchers have not been able to isolate a “depression gene”, yet depression clusters in families.
Research shows that the more distressed one’s intimate relationships, the more likely one is to be or become depressed. The quality of one’s deepest relationships is a very large risk factor, yet curiously, many people never realise how powerfully protective against depression a good relationship can be. These facts point to the merits of strengthening family and personal relationships and strongly suggests that depression is more than a purely biochemical phenomenon.
The skills of communicating compassionately with others, a compassionate acceptance of oneself and other skills of living a good life cannot be learned through medication. To rely only on medication is to ignore the fact that chemically castrating one’s feelings is to numb oneself to the pain of living but also to the joys that make life worth living.
To seek treatment for depression, speak to my reception on 08 8363 3974.