Depression Treatment SydneyDepression is often referred to as the "psychological common cold", partly because depression is such a common psychological difficulty, with pervasive implications for mental health. Depression can also be recurrent and hard to shake, often hitting when our resources are low.
Although the word "depression" is frequently used as a blanket term, the experience of depression can be very different for different people. Depression varies greatly in the feelings that it brings, its severity, and the effect that it has on a person.
For some people the predominant feelings of depression involve being sad or blue or down. Depression may also bring feelings of hopelessness, pessimism, or despair. Other people experience depression more as a feeling of fatigue, and a lack of energy, motivation, interest or enjoyment. Still others may predominantly experience feelings of guilt or failure. Many people experience varying combinations of all these different feelings.
In its most severe forms depression can stop people from eating, washing, sleeping, or getting out of bed. For others it interferes in some areas of life, but they carry on with the essentials, such as work and domestic obligations. Others may carry on as normal, but go about their life with a certain sense of detachment, disinterest, or depleted energy and motivation.
At times depression comes on suddenly, bringing a marked change from a person's previous life and outlook. Other times it builds gradually, growing steadily more intense over time. Alternatively it can linger for many years in a mild form, coming and going and fluctuating in intensity, but never too far away.
A period of depression is often triggered by difficult life events, or during a period of stress. Equally, it can come out of the blue, seeming to hit for no apparent reason.
Psychological therapies for depressionWhatever form it takes, depression can have significant effects on mental health and wellbeing, relationships, work, and physical health. Not surprisingly, a great deal of research has gone into developing effective treatments and therapies for depression, both psychological and medical. For some people psychological therapies by themselves are effective in resolving their depression. For others, a combination of therapy and medication is the most effective path. Together with your medical professionals, a psychologist can help you find the combination that is right for you.
Psychological therapies that have been found to be effective as depression treatment include Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Interpersonal Therapy (IPT), and Mindfulness-based therapies. The approach that is right for you will depend on your own experience of depression, its causes, and your own individual preferences, personality, and priorities. Taking your particular situation into account, effective depression treatment gives you the knowledge, skills, and strategies that you need to regain your energy, confidence, optimism, and strength. Effective depression treatment also helps you to rebuild areas of your life that may have suffered as a result of depression, such as your relationships, social life, leisure, family, and career.
As well as resolving current feelings of depression, successful depression treatment equips you with psychological skills and practices that promote lasting resilience to depression and long term mental health and wellbeing. Just as physical health involves diet and exercise, so mental health involves ongoing psychological self care. In an environment of support and respect, a psychologist can help you to cultivate the lasting changes that will build your mental health and wellbeing for the long run.