Depression

Everyone has times in their life when they feel sad or down, and they may describe this as feeling depressed. It is normal to experience feelings of happiness and feelings of sadness, but when the feelings of sadness persist for weeks or months, it is referred to as clinical depression. When feelings of sadness begin to interfere with a person’s ability to lead a normal life, they are often diagnosed with depression. It is an often misunderstood illness. Many people who have no experience of depression believe that those who suffer from it should simply ‘get themselves together’ or ‘snap out of it’. They can often be heard saying ‘what does he or she have to be depressed about’?

Nevertheless, it is a real illness and one that can have devastating consequences. With the right support and treatment, though, depression is an illness that can be treated.

Types of Depression

There are many causes of depression and a number of different kinds. Below are a few examples:

  • Mild depression: Mild may have a slight effect on a person’s everyday life but not enough to cause major problems. It could result in the individual being unable to do certain things or it may affect their ability to concentrate.
  • Major depression: Major is prolonged feelings of sadness or anxiety that has an adverse impact on a person’s quality of life. It can interfere with their ability to eat, sleep and enjoy certain activities. In extreme cases, the person may become a danger to him or herself and may need to be hospitalised.
  • Bipolar Disorder: Bipolar disorder involves extreme mood swings that can leave the individual feeling extremely happy one day to extremely low the next. While feeling low, the person may even become suicidal.
  • Postnatal Depression: Postnatal affects many new mothers and is different to the ‘baby blues’. The baby blues are common, especially in first-time mothers who suffer from a lack of confidence and fatigue. However, post-natal can last for a much longer period and can leave the new mum feeling unable to cope. It can interfere with the ability to sleep and can affect how the mother bonds with the child.
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder: Seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, affects individuals during the winter months and it can be mild or severe. Those with severe SAD can feel very low during the shorter days of winter and can suffer from anxiety and stress that can affect their ability to eat and sleep.

Causes of Depression

Depression does not occur because of one single cause. There can be a variety of reasons someone develops depression but there are a number of common causes that affect people including loss of a loved one, relationship breakdown, serious illness, financial difficulties, or unemployment. Sometimes more than one cause will trigger a bout of depression.

Bereavement can be extremely difficult to deal with, especially when the person who died was very close. Serious illness is another common cause as individuals find it difficult to cope with the pain of their illness. Terminal illness brings with it the fear of dying and when the illness begins to interfere with the person’s ability to live a normal life, they may develop depression.

Certain personality traits make some more susceptible to depression than others. Those with low self-esteem have a higher risk of depression and those with a family history may also be more vulnerable. Women who have recently given birth will experience physical and hormonal changes in their body that can lead to post-natal depression. The cause of depression varies from person to person and, in some instances, there may be no apparent cause.

Symptoms of Depression

There are a number of signs and symptoms relating to depression and these will vary from one person to the next. Symptoms can be physical or psychological, and you are unlikely to have every single symptom on the list. Below are a few examples:

  • Constantly feeling sad or miserable
  • Feeling as though there is no point in life
  • Crying or feeling like crying
  • Feeling guilty
  • Low self-esteem
  • Irritability
  • Being intolerant of others
  • Lacking motivation
  • Being unable to make decisions
  • Being unable to enjoy life
  • Anxiety
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Change in appetite
  • Aches and pains
  • Constipation
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of libido
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Changes in menstrual cycle
  • Not wanting to socialise with friends or family
  • Lacking interest in activities previously enjoyed
  • Poor performance at work or school.

If you are suffering from a number of the above symptoms and these persist for longer than a couple of weeks, it is important to get help. Recovery Lighthouse staff have a wealth of experience in dealing with patients suffering from depression. We can offer advice and support to clients and their families.

Treatment for Depression

Depression can be treated but it is important to realise that there is no instant fix. It may take time and effort to identify the cause of the condition and to work through it. In some instances, patients are advised to try some self-help techniques. Nonetheless, it may be the case that individual therapy sessions will be required, and sometimes medication is needed.

Recovery Lighthouse has a team of professional counsellors and therapists who will provide advice and support to those suffering from depression. We will help you to recognise the pattern of negative thinking that is causing your condition. You will be taught how to break the cycle and learn how to avoid triggers.

We use a number of recognised techniques, including cognitive behavioural therapy, which have been proven to produce effective results. We understand that it is a serious condition that can have a negative impact on those affected. Our staff have the skills and experience necessary to help you overcome your illness as well a genuine compassion for every patient they treat.

At Recovery Lighthouse, we treat every patient with the dignity and respect they deserve and we strive to ensure that everyone feels secure in our care. Our team-orientated methods will help you get through this tough period in your life, and you can be sure we will do everything in our power to help you live a happy and positive life going forward.

If you are worried that you may be suffering from clinical depression, please do not hesitate to contact us immediately.

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