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Understanding Depression

Depression is more than just feeling sad. It’s a biological state that can involve feelings of low energy, low motivation, social withdrawal, no longer enjoying previously enjoyable activities, irritability, or thoughts about death. There are many effective ways to treat depression which start with having a conversation with your GP or Psychologist. 

What is Depression?

Depression is more than just feeling sad. It can be a sense of numbness, emptiness, or hopelessness that stays with us for long periods of time. 

Depression can make us see the world through a dark lens – things seem harder, our resources seem lower, and there is an absence of joy. Because of this, depression saps our energy, motivation, or sex drive. It can and makes us want to withdraw from our relationships and disconnect from things we enjoyed doing before. We may comfort eat, lose our appetite, might have trouble sleeping or only want to sleep. 

People will experience depression differently so it's important to seek support from a health professional when you or a loved one might be experiencing any of these symptoms.

How many people are affected by Depression?

The 2007 National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing found that 1 in 7 Australians will experience depression at some stage in their life and that at the time of the survey, 1 in 16 Australians were experiencing depression. 

Given that depression is one of the most common mental disorders, it is important to understand the signs and symptoms so that we can prevent depression from progressing. 

How can a Psychologist help?

Sometimes it might be hard to talk to your family and friends about the distressing thoughts and feelings you've been experiencing. You might struggle to be vulnerable with them for fear that you'll worry them or "be a burden". You might be scared that they won't understand and just tell you to stop thinking that way and instead to "think positive".

 

A Psychologist can help by making sure you don't walk this journey alone and be able to hold space for these distressing experiences while giving you hope that things can get better. Because Psychologists are unbiased professionals, we can listen to and validate your experiences and provide you with evidence-based strategies to help shift the depressive symptoms. 

A number of therapies are effective at treating and managing depression. These include Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy and Acceptance Commitment Therapy.  For those with more severe levels of depression (where it has significantly affected their functioning in major area/s of their lives) extra support from a Psychiatrist may be needed to understand how medication can help. Working with your healthcare team can show you that you're not alone and together, with your Psychologist, we can help proactively build strategies to address the depression.

 

Conclusion

Depression is a common mental health condition that impacts many Australians' day-to-day lives. If left untreated, you can start to feel isolated and stuck. There are many effective ways to treat depression which start with having a conversation with your GP or Psychologist. You don't have to go it alone. 

For more information or to book an appointment with one of our experienced Psychologists, call the team at Reimagine Psychology Melbourne on (03) 8330 5588 or email us on hello@reimaginepsychology.melbourne.