Depression Counselling

"Counsellor Gill Tunstall says: “Sometimes talking to friends and family isn’t enough. They may try to help by pointing out all the things you have to be thankful for, but that will just make you feel worse. You need to talk about the difficult feelings you’re experiencing, and to have them acknowledged. There is a lot of pressure to be in a good mood, so we can get in the habit of hiding our sad feelings, but a good therapist can help you get back in touch with your feelings and identify things you might want to change.” Sunday Express, 20th April 2014.

Everybody sometimes feels sad or unconfident. Depression can develop when these feelings become persistent and intense to a debilitating degree. Do you find it difficult to relate to friends and family or to find any pleasure in life? Are you exhausted by the demands of ordinary life? You may be suffering from depression. Depression can vary in intensity from a mild and transient episode to a chronic and disabling condition.

The psychological symptoms of depression can include:
 
  • Continuous low mood or sadness
  • Feeling hopeless and helpless
  • Having low self-esteem 
  • Feeling tearful
  • Feeling guilt-ridden
  • Feeling irritable and intolerant of others 
  • Having no motivation or interest in things
  • Finding it difficult to make decisions
  • Not getting any enjoyment out of life
  • Having suicidal thoughts or thoughts of harming yourself
  • Feeling  anxious or worried 

The physical symptoms of depression can include:

  • Change in appetite or weight (usually decreased, but sometimes increased) 
  • Disturbed sleep (for example, finding it hard to fall asleep at night or waking up very early in the morning)

The social symptoms of depression can include:

  • Not doing well at work
  • Taking part in fewer social activities and avoiding contact with friends
  • Neglecting your hobbies and interests
  • Having difficulties in your home and family life
 Possible causes of depression can include:
 
  • A traumatic event – losing your job, separating from your partner, experiencing a physical attack, major illness such as cancer, bullying in the workplace 
  • A loss of some kind – bereavement, retirement, moving away from a familiar neighbourhood, the inability to conceive a child.

How can counselling help?

The counselling process can help you to identify the self-destructive trains of thought and patterns of behaviour which sustain depression. Once these have been identified they can be challenged. It can also help you to explore the roots of damaged self-belief in your own life experience.  Understanding this experience can be the first step to restoring the self-esteem which we all need to function effectively.