About Depression and TherapyBy Caroline Kendal MBACP (Accred)
Each person’s depression is unique and reflects their personality, lifestyle and history.
Depression can vary from sadness and lethargy to feelings of isolation and despair. With a less intense depression, we are still able to function but it can be a struggle to find the energy and motivation. Life becomes dull. We lose interest in things we normally enjoy. Our sleeping and eating patterns change and we may stop bothering with our appearance. We might feel unable to use our initiative, concentrate or make decisions.
Feelings of isolation, self-hate and hopelessness characterise stronger forms of depression. Our thoughts become punitive and we see no light at the end of the tunnel. What makes this depression darker and harder to bear is that we often suffer guilt for having these thoughts and feelings. Our sense of unworthiness can mean that the most basic forms of communication are beyond us. We can feel so doubtful or ashamed of who we are and what we have become that we wish to hide. Contact with others may result in having to expose the state we are in or face suggestions to “cheer up” and “pull yourself together”, which only reinforce our sense that we are suffering simply from self-pity rather than genuine pain.
Good therapists will not tell you to cheer up, they will just be there, unafraid of your depression.
Anti-depressants can be effective at dealing with the symptoms. However, in my experience, combining anti-depressants with therapy tackles the underlying causes as well as the symptoms leading to more thorough results.
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Issue area(s): Depression
Therapy Type(s): Counselling, Psychotherapy