A common metaphor for depression is that of a black cloud following you around your life, raining down numbness or sadness. Professional depression counselling is one of the things that will help disperse that persistent black cloud. By acknowledging its presence and putting strategies in place to cope with the effects, you can conquer a depressed state and move on as a stronger person.
Before moving forward, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you have feelings of worthlessness, guilt, sadness or numbness been bothering you over the past month?
- In light of these feelings, do you struggle to participate in the things you used to do, including work and social interaction?
While these are not the only benchmark you can use to measure the state of your mental health, they are a way of checking in on your emotions. All too often we put our heads down and ignore what our body or mind is telling us. However, it’s important to care for oneself, especially in the longer-term.
What is depression?
All people experience some periods of sadness. It is normal to feel low or down occasionally for some days when losses or hard times have occurred. The difference between feeling sad versus depressed is that when you are depressed, your happiness seems out of reach and unattainable.
Depression negatively affects how you think, feel, and act. There will be a decrease in functioning at home and work for weeks and months. Your low mood impacts negatively on your sleep, appetite, relationships, and job. You experience sadness and/or a loss of enjoyment in activities that you were once interested in.
The truth is, there is no single way that depression manifests itself. But often, being depressed can result in feeling helpless and hopeless. In this state, it can feel like nothing is worthwhile, and that purpose and meaning have left you. When you experience extended feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, worthlessness, and being in a dark, empty place, it is time to seek help.
In professional counselling designed to help people suffering from a depressed state, we categorise the symptoms of depression in four key dimensions: cognition (your mind), emotions, behaviour and physical symptoms. You may feel stronger emotional symptoms, or your symptoms might sway toward the physical (as is common in men). It’s very important to notice and take note of them.
- Constant negative cycles of thought like “it’s my fault”, “I’m a failure”, “Bad things always happen to me”.
- Struggling to concentrate or remember things.
- A lack of motivation to engage with your life, especially your future.
- Thoughts of death, suicide, or self-loathing.
- A constant feeling of overwhelm
- Short fuse (easy to anger or irritability)
- Isolating yourself from family or friends.
- Not doing the things you used to enjoy.
- Falling behind at work, or ignoring deadlines at school.
Physical Symptoms (more commonly noticed by men)
- Feeling constant exhaustion.
- Easily contracting physical health issues.
- Difficulty sleeping (insomnia).
- Lack of appetite, and noticeable weight change.
Depressions Counselling & Treatment in Christchurch
If any of the above depressive symptoms sound like you, then counselling is your best way forward. Counselling or “talk therapy” is often used on its own, but it can be used alongside antidepressant medications. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy has been found to be effective in treating depression. Depending on its severity treatment can take a few weeks or more. Generally, significant improvement can be made within 3 to 10 sessions. Above all, it is important to treat every dimension of your life to promote positive mental health in the long-term.
Winchester Counselling practices therapy with strengths-based, client-oriented methods that help to build a strong foundation in all parts of the person’s life to treat depression. Since 1999, Andrew Winchester has been assisting people with depression in Christchurch.
If you or someone you know is struggling with depression, it’s important to get the help needed for recovery.
“Andrew was wonderful to talk to, very approachable and had good understanding around my issues with some great talking points as well as really good plans for going forward. I'll definitely see Andrew again if I'm in need of assistance.” - anon client.