The term ‘depression’ gets bandied about quite a lot by people feeling miserable or sad. Many often describe themselves as depressed when they are upset about something or are otherwise unhappy. For that reason, many individuals think of depression as a trivial problem and not one that is a genuine mental health issue that can be debilitating to those who suffer from it.
It is not something that occurs because a person is weak, and it is not something that people can simply ‘get over’. Those who have never had depression are often heard saying, ‘why is she depressed – she has nothing to be depressed about!’ However, depression is a real illness that has real symptoms and can cause genuine heartache to those affected.
Various types of depression can affect people – below are just a few examples:
Postnatal depression occurs in new mothers and is completely different to the ‘baby blues’ that many mothers experience due to changes in their hormones after the birth of a baby. Postnatal depression is a serious condition that not only last for many months but it can also be very severe. Those affected can have a constant feeling of sadness and feel listless. They may suffer from disturbed sleep patterns and low self-confidence. Some women are affected so severely that they are unable to care for themselves or their new baby.
Bipolar disorder is also known as manic depression and causes the person to suffer extreme mood swings. Those with bipolar disorder alternate between periods of deep depression and mania, where they will be very excited.
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is linked to the shorter days of late autumn and winter. Those affected usually feel down and depressed during the dark and cold winter months. However, once spring and summer arrive, their mood will lift and they will feel happier and more positive. SAD can be mild or severe, but those affected can suffer from an inability to sleep or eat during bouts of depression.
Those with depression are often very critical in the way they think about themselves and others. The affected individuals might believe that they are worthless, boring or ugly. They may believe that nobody likes them and that everyone else is better, prettier or smarter than they are. The person rarely sees any hope for the future and believes that things will never get better.
Those with depression may suffer from the following physical, social or psychological symptoms:
Depression is not caused by one single event or occurrence. Various things can trigger it and, for each person, this cause will be different. For some, it can occur after a significant stressful life event such as a diagnosis of cancer, the death of a loved one, a marriage breakdown, or the loss of a job.
For others, it is a combination of events that trigger a bout of depression; some suffer for a long time before finally breaking down and developing depression.
There are those that are more prone to developing depression than others are. People who suffer from low self-esteem may be more likely to develop the condition, as are those with a family history of depression. Women who have just given birth are at risk of developing post-natal depression because of changes in their hormones and the realisation that they are now responsible for another life.
And while some people drink alcohol or take drugs because they are depressed, the opposite can also be true. Alcoholics and drug addicts are commonly affected by depression as their addictions spiral out of control.
Liberty House Clinic has a team of fully qualified and highly skilled staff working hard to help patients suffering from depression. This is a complex mental health disorder that requires intensive treatment to get to the root of the problem.
Nevertheless, our staff have the experience and knowledge required to help those struggling with depression. Through a programme of treatments that may include cognitive behavioural therapy, one-to-one counselling and group therapy sessions, our staff will help to break the cycle of negative thinking that most patients with depression have. They will work hard to help you learn what triggers this condition so it can be avoided going forward, and they will provide you with the skills you need to lead a positive, happy life.
For more information on Liberty House Clinic’s programme of treatment for patients with depression, call today.