One in five people suffer from depression at some point in their lives. Everyone feels sad and low in mood sometimes. Everyone has days where they don’t want to be as involved in life as usual and this is normal. However, if these feelings last for a prolonged period of time, for more than two weeks, it could be time to seek help.
Depression can be described as a persistent ‘low mood’ which impacts on the way a person thinks, feels and behaves. Depression is defined as being mild, moderate or severe.
The common symptoms of depression are:
- Sleep disturbance; difficulty falling asleep, waking regularly through the night, waking early in the morning and not being able to go back to sleep again.
- Feeling lethargic, not having energy or even exhaustion.
- Lack of motivation; finding it difficult to do normal activities, feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of doing even small tasks.
- Lack of concentration; not being able to focus or follow what is going on when watching the TV, being unable to follow what you are reading properly. Often people find it really hard to remember information or what has been said in conversations.
- Not eating properly; not feeling hungry, missing meals and weight loss.
- Pervasive feelings of sadness, feelings of hopelessness or being useless.
- Feelings of not being able to cope with things which used to be easy.
- Losing interest and enjoyment in situations, people, events.
- Being irritable with people.
- Not wanting to engage with others, isolating yourself.
- Loss of sex drive/libido.
- Having thoughts of not wanting to be here anymore or even suicidal thoughts.
Depression can slowly develop over time, so it can be hard to recognise.
It can be triggered by emotional trauma, a bereavement for example, or it can seem to just be there.
It can be very difficult for someone who is depressed to describe how it feels. It can also be difficult for others to understand how to respond to someone suffering from depression, to know what advice to give them.
CBT is clinically proven to be an effective treatment for low mood and depression and is recommended by NICE. Evidence shows that a course of CBT has good outcomes in terms of recovery for those suffering from mild to moderate and even severe depression. Learning how to manage depression by talking to a therapist is a big step, but, it is one which could lead to positive change. CBT can be used to understand how depression can change someone’s outlook on life. How the experience has made them think and feel emotionally and how things can be different now and in the future.
Working together in therapy we can identify value based goals and develop an understanding of what needs to be different to achieve them.
CBT can help to build resilience in you and help you develop coping strategies which work.