Depression

Over 1 million Australians experience low mood each year.
The good news is that depression is treatable.

What is depression?

One in six people will experience depression during their life, and it affects both men and women – about a million Australians each year. No one is immune to mental health issues – we know that some of Australia’s most talented athletes – Ian Thorpe, Leisel Jones, Libby Trickett, Darius Boyd, Dan Hunt, and Lance Franklin have all battled for good mental health.

Even more people experience sub-clinical (or less severe) symptoms which still affect the quality of their life.

Both men and women experience sadness, fear, distress and negative experiences – and both men and women suffer from depression. But depression doesn’t look the same in everyone. For some, they may begin to sleep more than usual to retreat from the world, for others they may begin to turn to food for comfort, or to alcohol to avoid their feelings. Some people begin to experience anger, and may find themselves becoming easily irritated, whereas others cannot stop the tears.

Depression and it’s symptoms can be as unique as the people it affects. The research also tells us that if you have depression you are more likely to feel guilty, and to blame yourself for being depressed. But’s that is not true. Depression is no more someone’s fault than breaking an arm or leg could be.

Sadness, low mood and depression

Sadness is a normal human emotion, and all of us feel sad at times. But, for some people sadness can happen too often, and this can become depression. People with depression feel unhappy or sad, and sometimes angry, They may lose interest in, or stop enjoying many of the things they used to.

Depression is a serious condition which can have a distructive impact on your life. It often makes people feel hopeless and helpless, and it can lead to suicidal thoughts.

Treating depression

The good news is that depression is treatable. The best treatments involve learning about your symptoms, learning key skills for managing those symptoms, and gradually getting back into a healthy routine.

Learning to beat depression can be challenging, particularly because the symptoms of depression often include a loss of motivation, energy, and confidence. But we believe that people can successfully learn to overcome depression and get back to enjoying their lives.

Psychological treatments for depression

We know that no two people experience depression in the same way.
Because of that, no two treatments will be exactly the same either.
By understanding what’s causing your low mood, and what is maintaining it, we can work with you to decide which treatments are most likely to help. Our psychologists will develop an individual treatment plan suited exactly to your unique situation.

It’s rare for one approach to be the perfect fit for your needs. At Mindworx Psychology we use our experience and training to draw strategies from a range of evidence based treatments, including:

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy – CBT includes cognitive therapy that helps address dark thoughts, unhelpful thoughts and hidden beliefs that can trigger and maintain low mood. Behavioural activation skills can help you to find the enjoyment and motivation to take part in activities that are important to you.

Schema Therapy – an advanced form of cognitive therapy that helps uncover and shift unhelpful view of the self, others or the world.

Mindfulness. Mindfulness techniques teach us to live in the present moment, to let go of judgement and worry, and to practice acceptance. Studies show that mindfulness training can lead to changes in the brain – and we know that many techniques help in managing mood, and in relapse prevention.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy – ACT focuses on taking action
towards living a rich and meaningful life. ACT incorporates elements of mindfulness, but also taps into our values systems, and allows us to experience our thoughts, feelings and urges without letting them rule us.

Interpersonal Therapy. In many cases, a low or depressed mood is related to problems in our relationships at home, work or with others. IPT can help build understanding and skill in the ways you relate to, react to, and interact with the important people in your life.

Symptoms of depression

When people feel low, they often experience the following symptoms:

  • Feeling sad, teary or irritable.
  • Losing interest in work, or in hobbies or in spending time with people you love.
  • Loss of energy, feeling tired or exhaused.
  • Changes in sleep – such as having difficulty sleeping or sleeping more than usual.
  • Appetite can change, making you feel more or less hungry than usual.
  • Reduced sexual interest.

The symptoms of depression make life much more difficult to manage from day to day. We know that these symptoms can also make it more challenging to find the energy to seek help. We recommend seeking help from your GP as soon as possible, to check for underlying health problems which can cause depression. An increase in physical health problems like pain. Finding it hard to concentrate.

Getting help

GPs are the best starting point for someone seeking professional help. Your GP can:

Learning to beat depression can be challenging, particularly because depression often robs people of motivation, energy and confidence.

Therapy can provide you with the knowledge and skills to overcome depression and get back to enjoying your life.

  • make a diagnosis
  • check for any physical health problem or medication that may be contributing to the contributing to your low mood
  • discuss available treatments
  • work with you to draw up a Mental Health Treatment Plan so you can get a Medicare rebate for psychological treatment
  • refer you to a psychologist for therapy, or to a psychiatrist if you wish to explore medication options

MORE INFORMATION

Below are links to helpful websites:

National Institute of Mental Health

www.mindhealthconnect.org.au

www.beyondblue.org.au

Psychotherapy and depression

Depression and low mood can result in a loss of pleasure which may get in the way of you doing things. It’s important to stay active, to stay connected to other people and to keep doing the things that make you feel good about yourself and about life.

Do something that raises your spirits every single day, even if it is just listening to your favourite piece of music.

Need some inspiration? Check out our list of 101 Pleasant Things To Do…

101 Pleasant Things To Do.pdf

Crisis Services

Mindworx Psychology DOES NOT provide an emergency or instant response service.

When people are depressed they may have thoughts of hurting themselves or of ending their life. If you are having such thoughts please seek help immediately.

You can go to your local hospital emergency department, or if you are in Australia you can call:

Remember depression CAN be treated.