Depression is a word we hear a lot about, and it can be understood in many different ways, and effect people differently. Typically, depression might involve losing interest in things that are normally enjoyed, feeling tired and irritable, tearfulness, not being able to sleep or sleeping too much, wanting to be alone, and often feelings of guilt or worthlessness. Sometimes it can mean not feeling anything at all, and lacking in motivation. It can often be accompanied by anxiety. Depression can sometimes follow a change of some kind, such as the loss of a job or relationship, but sometimes it can just come out of the blue. Sometimes people may feel some of these things for a short time, but if they become persistent and interfere with life, work and relationships. it might be time to seek help.
How can Counselling help?
Counsellors will generally see depression as an emotional problem that has its roots in our relationships and circumstances. While it is true that depression can be caused by chemical imbalances, and can be treated by use of medication, it is equally true (as recent research in neuroscience is proving), that talking therapies can change the brain in a physical way, and can be as effective, if not more effective than medication. Sometimes a combination of medication and counselling can be appropriate.
Counselling will offer a safe, trusting relationship so that someone who is experiencing depression can begin to find new meaning, and talk about whatever it is they need to talk about. If there are other emotions connected to or causing the depression, such as grief, anger, or unresolved issues, counselling can help to unravel these and find new perspective. Being understood and accepted, rather then being told to “just pull yourself together” or “snap out of it” can be very empowering and the counsellor and the client can work together to find solutions to problems and move forward into a better sense of well being and functioning.
In my counselling work with depression, I work with each client as a unique individual and we look for the way forward together. This might involve learning more about depression in general as well as exploring the aspects of depression that are unique to each particular person. By understanding the depression and its effects, and how it fits into other aspects of emotional life, ways can be found to reduce those effects and move forward.
If you have any questions that are not answered here, or would like to book an initial session to look at finding a way forward for you, feel free to contact me.