One person in five in the UK suffers from depression. It is very common and it can also be combined with anxiety.
What is depression?
We all feel fed up, miserable and sad at times. These feelings don’t usually last longer than a week or two, and don’t interfere too much with our day to day lives – we usually cope with them and may just talk things through with a friend, and then feel a bit better. The low mood of depression is deeper, longer and much more unpleasant and leaves us feeling unable to cope, isolated and hopeless. It may also affect our relationships.
Causes of depression
We are still not sure what causes depression. Some of us are more vulnerable to it than others because of our genes, our experiences in early life or both. Major life events such as bereavement, redundancy, being ill or having illness in the family are amongst the situations which can trigger depression, but sometimes it develops without an obvious cause. You can exhaust yourself trying to struggle on, rather than seeking help. Sometimes it takes a friend or a partner to persuade you that there really is a problem, and to convince you that it really can be helped. It can feel daunting to contact a counsellor or psychotherapist, but talking can be the first step in recovery.
Therapy in Littlehampton
At Therapy in Littlehampton I regularly work with individuals and couples for whom depression is a problem. For more about my qualifications and experience, have a look at my About Me page. One in five people in the UK suffers from depression and this statistic is definitely mirrored in my practice. Life with depression can feel very hopeless, but in my experience there is lots of hope and you will be able to enjoy life again.
Signs of depression – what does it feel like?
Most people will not have all the symptoms listed below but most people will have at least five or six.
- Loss of interest in life — can’t enjoy anything
- Feeling unhappy most of the time (possibly slightly better in the evening)
- Difficulty making decisions
- Feeling unable to cope with things like you used to
- Loss of appetite with weight loss, or the reverse (comfort eating and weight gain)
- Feeling incredibly tired
- Feeling restless and agitated
- Feeling irritable
- Difficulty getting off to sleep and then waking up earlier than usual
- Feeling worse in the morning
- Loss of interest in sex
- Loss of self-confidence
- Feeling inadequate, useless and hopeless
- Avoiding other people, even close friends
- Problems with relationships
- Suicidal thoughts
There are some specific types of depression:
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a seasonal depression linked to there being less available daylight. This often gets better as the days become longer and brighter.
Postnatal Depression following the birth of a baby can occur up to two years after the birth and often requires medication and/or extra support.
Bipolar Disorder (this used to be called Manic Depression) is characterised by major mood swings and periods of high excitement with unrealistic plans, followed by serious depression.
When to seek help
- If your feelings of depression are worse and don’t seem to be improving
- When your depression is affecting work, family, friends, socialising and relationships
- If you feel that life is not worth living
- If you feel that those around you would be better off without you
It might be enough to talk things over with a relative or friend but if this doesn’t help, you probably need to contact your GP.
Further information about depression can be obtained from the following organisations: Aware, Depression Alliance (now merged with Mind), Depression UK, Bipolar UK, Mind, Sane, Relate and The Samaritans
Available help: medication and therapy
There are various treatments for depression, depending on what kind of depression and what symptoms you have. Your GP can help you assess the best treatment for your depression and they may suggest a combination of medication and therapy.
In an emergency, help is available at:
- The Samaritans (24 hours) free helpline 116 123 e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
- NHS Direct for England & Wales (24 hours) Telephone 111
- NHS 24 for Scotland (24 hours) Telephone 111
- Sussex Mental Health Line Telephone 0300 5000 101. 5pm – 9.0am (Mon – Fri) 24 Hours (weekends & Bank Holidays)
Therapy in Littlehampton
My practice is in West Sussex. It is within easy reach of Littlehampton, Bognor, Chichester, Brighton and Worthing. The nearest stations are Littlehampton and Angmering.
I am happy to offer sessions by telephone and skype.
For more information about how I work please look at my About Me page. You can contact me on 01903-722838 or 0771-282-9189 or e-mail me. My Contact Me page will give you details about the practicalities of reaching me. If you are unsure whether it would help to see a counsellor or psychotherapist, I am very happy to have an informal chat with you.