Depression

Think of depression, and most people think of low mood. Whilst low mood is certainly a central feature of depression, there is a lot more to the illness.

Depression is probably best viewed as a collection of various features, which may be present to varying degrees in different individuals. Typically, the following may be found:

  • loss of enjoyment in life
  • difficulty making decisions
  • lack of energy
  • memory and concentration difficulties
  • loss of self-confidence
  • avoidance of social contact
  • disrupted, unrefreshing sleep
  • loss of appetite or lack of enjoyment of food
  • thoughts of hopelessness, self-harm or even suicide

Depression is a common disorder – at any time, around one in ten of the population will suffer from a depressive illness. At times, it may arise as a result of trying to cope with too many life stresses for too long; family, work, relationships, finance or physical illness, while at other times there may be no external precipitants.

Drever Associates - Treatment of depression

Either way, the body starts to shut down key aspects of functioning, accounting for some of the features above, such as social withdrawal and diminished energy levels. It is important to recognise these features when they arise and to seek appropriate help, rather than trying to ‘push through’, which only serves to make the situation worse in the long run. The good news is that depression is a treatable medical condition which can respond very well to psychological treatment, often together with medication. Various types of psychological treatment are available, including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, which can be provided on a group or one-to-one basis. Contact us to learn more about our treatments for depression, or to book an appointment.


 

Case Study

Adam was a 44-year old executive in the IT industry, who had noticed that he had been ‘out of sorts’ for at least a year. No longer was he able to enjoy his job or contact with his peers, and various activities had fallen away; cooking became a chore, whereas before it was something he used to gain pleasure from. At times, Adam could feel bleak, empty and down, and would wonder what the point of life was. His wife noticed that he had become increasingly irritable over minor events, and was concerned by his lack of sleep. After a discussion with his GP, Adam was referred to our team, where a full assessment was carried out, and a diagnosis of a moderate depressive disorder was made. This initially came as something of a surprise to Adam, but he was reassured to know that this was a treatable condition, and that there were no other illnesses present. Given how unwell he was feeling, Adam opted for an intensive residential treatment programme, in order to give himself the best chance of getting better as quickly as possible. With the help of his doctor, he arranged a few weeks off work, and came in to do over twenty hours a week of intensive group therapy. Adam met a range of other people in very similar situations, and gained support and strength from knowing that he was not alone. Day by day, the therapy programme uncovered many unhelpful thought processes which Adam had unwittingly been using and which had been perpetuating his illness. In addition, he started to explore other underpinnings for his depression, which he had not worked on before; bullying when at school, low self esteem, and a difficult relationship with his father. By the time of discharge, Adam was feeling very focused and positive about moving his life forward and maintaining his progress. Our team arranged for Adam to continue to see a one-to-one Clinical Psychologist near his offices for ongoing ‘fine tuning’, and his only contact with our services is now a thirty-minute follow-up every three months.

Indicative case study, based on the experiences of several patients.

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