At times, everybody feels sad, low or in a bad mood. In and of themselves these feelings are totally normal and can often be healthy responses to particular events you may be experiencing in your life. It is also important to know that sometimes they happen for no obvious reason at all and this is completely normal too!
However, if you are experiencing persistent sadness which is impacting and interfering with your ordinary functioning at work, school or in your relationships then this may be a sign of depression.
Depression is not simply a form of extreme sadness although this may be one symptom. In fact, depression is a disorder that affects both the brain and the body including the way you think, feel and behave as well as having a physical impact on your immune system and peripheral nervous system.
Depression affects one in six people in the UK. Common symptoms include:
- Lack of motivation
- Persistent negative thoughts
- Difficulty concentrating
- Disturbed sleep
- Lack of enthusiasm and pleasure
- Feelings of guilt and worthlessness
- Irritability, agitation and restlessness
- Suicidal thoughts
- Appetite changes
- Loss of sex drive
- Avoiding other people including family and friends
- Physical pain including headaches, muscle aches and lack of energy
There is no ‘quick fix’ if you are suffering from depression and symptoms sometimes last for several weeks or months. However, it is important to remember that you are not alone and help is available if you are willing to ask for it.
Therapy for depression works by helping you understand the underlying causes of your depression and by working with you to examine all the elements of thinking, feeling and behaving which are contributing to your low mood. Together, we will develop specific and personalised strategies which will enable you to manage your low moods and which will be effective for you in the long-term.