Depression and Mood Disorders

Depression Treatment

You may be reading this because you’re feeling sad, blue, down, depressed or irritable, but not 100% sure about talking to a Psychologist. It can be tricky to differentiate between depression and a ‘bad patch’. Often it starts off by noticing constant depressed mood and feeling down in the dumps most days of the week. You may also notice a significant loss of interest or enjoyment in most things in life.

What is Depression?

Depression is a persistent feeling of sadness or loss of interest in activities, causing significant impairment in daily life. It may lead to withdrawing from friends or family, resulting in feeling disconnected or alone. You may experience a significant loss of motivation in your usual activities or obligations.

Do you identify with the following most days of the week?

> Sad or down in the dumps

> Discouraged or hopeless

> Low self-esteem, inferiority, worthlessness

> Loss of motivation to do things

> Loss of pleasure or satisfaction in life

> Irritability in younger ones

If you identify with one or more of the above symptoms, you may benefit from reading on.

In what ways does Depression disrupt your daily functioning?

 

> Changes in our sleep – you may have trouble getting to sleep or disrupted sleep.

> Increased or reduced appetite – you may find you are not eating as much anymore or skipping meals. On the flip side, you may find that you are eating more due to feeling alone and flat.

> Reduced energy levels – you can notice feelings of fatigue, reduced energy, as well as lack of motivation to maintain your usual routine.

> Difficulties with concentration – you may find it hard to concentrate at school, work or uni, resulting in feelings of failure and feeling even worse about yourself.

> Low self-esteem – you could find yourself seeing everything you do in a negative light. We describe this as ‘the negative lens’. This is often one of the most common experiences for individuals suffering from depression.

> Irritable and restlessness – in children or teenagers, you may notice increased irritability. You may find your loved one often loses his/her temper, yells or act out displaying a disproportionate emotional response in relation to the context of the event. Your teen may also describe feeling a little more irritable, on edge or keyed up. You could ask your teen if he/she is feeling this way or perhaps finding it hard to ‘wind down’ after school.

> Unhelpful/negative thoughts about yourself – you may find yourself feeling ‘hopeless’ and believe that nothing is going to change. You may often find yourself thinking you are a ‘burden’ or ‘hindrance’ to your friends or family, resulting in withdrawal behaviour or social isolation. You may experience a constant battle with your ‘inner-critic’ and view yourself and everything you do through ‘the negative lens’.

> Disqualifying all positives – you may find compliments make you feel uncomfortable. For example, if a friend said – “oh, you look nice today” or a teacher said – “good job”, your natural instinct is to not believe this is true. Alternatively, you could find yourself thinking “oh, they don’t mean it, they’re just feeling sorry for me, as I am such a failure”.

> Social isolation and withdrawal – you may feel everything is such a big effort. You could more often than not want to ‘curl up’ in bed and shut everyone out. This can often result in feeling even flatter and sleepier during the day. Alternatively, you may find hard to get out of bed at all or stop making plans to see friends, family, having a shower or cooking.

> Thoughts of death or suicide – you could have lost purpose or ‘the light at end of the tunnel’. Another common symptom of persistent or chronic depression may be suicidal thoughts such as “it would just be easier if I wasn’t here anymore”. If you need immediate help, or your life is in danger, please call ‘triple zero’ (000). If you are thinking of harming yourself, it is important to reach out for immediate support. If someone you know is at immediate risk of harm, please also call ‘triple zero’ (000) as a matter of urgency. For more information on immediate supports (please click here).

Depression Treatment: 

There is a range of evidence-based treatments of depression including talk therapy with a Psychologist. You may also benefit from a combination of talk therapy adjunct to medication for more persistent and severe depression. We recommend talking to your Psychologist about the best treatment approach for you based on your symptoms. A good Psychologist will tend to make you feel supported by exploring the severity of your symptom early on in treatment and recommend suitable treatment options.

What are the Well-Research Therapies and Techniques for Depression Treatment? 

> Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy – aimed to significantly improve your mood, self-esteem, motivation and day-to-day interest in usual activities once again.

> Behavioural Activation – aimed to help you engage more often in enjoyable activities and improve your motivation.

> Interpersonal Psychotherapy – aimed to improve the quality of your relationships and social functioning to help reduce overall distress levels.

> Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy – shown to be effective in preventing future periods of depression.

You can read more on evidence-based strategies for treatment of depression on the Australian Psychological Society website (click here).

How Can Positive Wellbeing Psychology Help?

At Positive Wellbeing Psychology, our Psychologists are trained in a range well-researched therapies and techniques including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), which is found to be highly efficacious in alleviating depression symptoms. Our psychologists explore factors that may be maintaining your persistently low mood and depression symptoms. Once identifying possible factors, you will start to explore a range of evidence-based strategies to improve mood, self-esteem and relationships.

Registered Australian Psychologists with the Australian Psychological Society (APS) - Logo

Our Australian Registered Psychologists are experienced and trained in evidence-based treatment for depression.

Make An Appointment

Telehealth and In-Person appointments available with one of our Melbourne Psychologist during the day, after-hours and on weekends.