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  • Writer's pictureChristine Smith

What is Depression

Many people do not realise that depression is an illness. If they have never experienced it, it is hard for them to relate to how it feels.

Some people say that it feels like a numbness, a black curtain of despair that envelops their lives..

Many who are depressed, believe that they are dull/boring and do not deserve anything. Have low self-worth and feelings of helplessness. Others feel irritated all the time with no reason to this feeling. There is no snapping out of it and it is a deep untouchable sadness that is hard to explain to others and is not the same for any two people. Counselling therapy has to be tailored to the individual, Integrative Counselling is a group of modes of therapies that the counsellor is trained in to best help their clients, by being able to adapt the therapies they are using to work with that particular individual.

If you have depression, or if someone you know is struggling with it. YOU ARE NOT ALONE! Approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year. To give that some context, as of October 1st 2017, there are 66,280,080 people living in the UK, this means that 16,570,020 have a mental health problem. 1 in 6 people report experiencing a common mental health problem (such as anxiety and depression) in any given week. That’s 212,436 people a week.

​There are many things that can trigger a depressive episode. To give an idea of some of the areas they could be Trauma and major loss, such as abortion, bereavement, retirement, redundancy, illness, cancer, mental or physical abuse to name a few. It can also be feelings of overwhelm, where there is a generalised depressive feeling that is difficult to explain. The reasons behind all depressions are many and varied.

In the region of 50% of all clients experience a single episode and go on to recover completely, the rest have at least one recurrence. Major depression can affect all areas of a person’s life, social, family, and work functioning. The most serious effect of major depression is suicide ideation. Feelings of worthlessness, guilt and hopelessness, are so overwhelming the person can feels that there is no point in living anymore. Twice as many women as men attempt suicide, however men are far more likely to succeed.

A depressive disorder is something that affects the mood, the body and thoughts. It can have an impact on sleep and eating. How the person thinks about things and especially about how they feel about themselves, it is not the same as a passing blue mood. It is not a sign of personal weakness and the person cannot “pull themselves together”. These feelings can last weeks, months and years without treatment. It can affect appetite , loss of energy, finding pleasure in life, people can become loud, violent, troubled and can also lead on to drug and alcohol abuse .

Appropriate treatment can help most people who suffer with depression. Treating depression is especially important as it affects you and all of your loved ones and ability to work. Change won’t come about overnight, however the right treatment can help prevent depression from casting its shadow over your life.

Written By Christine Smith-Wild River Counselling & Psychotherapy

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