What is Depression?
Everyone experiences feelings of sadness, disappointment, or ‘the blues’ from time to time. Depression however refers to a range of moods and other symptoms that are more intense, pervasive and long-lasting, are distressing to the person, and interfere with day-to-day life and relationships.
The key symptoms include one or both of the following:
- Feelings of sadness, emptiness or lowered mood that lasts for most of the day, nearly every day
- Loss of interest in activities that were previously enjoyable, like going out, seeing friends, or pursuing interests and hobbies.
Daily symptoms include:
- Significant changes in appetite and/or weight in the absence of dieting
- Difficulty sleeping or excessive sleeping
- Fatigue and loss of energy
- Feelings of worthlessness, helplessness or hopelessness, or excessive guilt
- Trouble concentrating or making decisions
- Decreased interest in sex
- Thoughts of suicide or a feeling that life is not worth living.
There is no one cause for depression. In some individuals a stressful life event such as the loss of a job, long-term unemployment, physical health issues, family problems, the death of a loved one, or the loss of a close relationship might trigger depression. For other people, there is no obvious cause.
Treatment for Depression
Depression can be treated using a number of methods however to determine which treatment is best suited, Kathryn will ask questions about the individual’s history, circumstances, thoughts, feelings and behaviours to gain an understanding of factors that might be contributing to the person’s difficulties and work out a treatment best suited to the client.
Further Reading & Support
Australian Psychological Society
Australia’s largest professional association for psychologists
Provides information on anxiety, depression, and related disorders
Black Dog Institute
An organisation specialising in mood disorder research and education
Australia’s National Youth Mental Health Foundation, providing assistance for individuals aged 12-25 years
A 24-hour counselling, suicide prevention and mental health support service
Telephone: 13 11 14