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Our therapists at The Acorn Counselling & Psychotherapy Centre are professionally trained to deal with a wide and varied range of problems, including depression.

What is depression?   The word depressed is a common everyday word. People might say “I’m depressed” when they  mean “I’m fed up because I’ve had a row, or failed an exam, or lost my  job” etc.

These ups and downs of life are common and normal. Most people  recover quite quickly.                 However with depression you have a low mood and other symptoms each day for at least a  number of weeks. Symptoms can also become severe enough to interfere with your ability to get on with your day to day life.

Common symptoms of depression.   The following is a list of common symptoms of depression. It is unusual to have them all, but several usually develop if you have depression.

  • Low mood for most of the day, nearly every day. Things always seem ‘black’.
  • Loss of enjoyment and interest in life, even for activities that you normally enjoyed.
  • Abnormal sadness, feeling tearful.
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or uselessness.
  • Poor motivation. Even simple tasks seem more difficult than before.
  • Poor concentration. It may be difficult to read, not able to face work, etc.
  • Disrupted sleep patterns. Not able to sleep, or wanting to stay in bed all day.
  • Lacking in energy, always tired.
  • Difficulty with affection, losing interest in sex.
  • Loss of appetite and weight loss.  Or sometimes the reverse happens with comfort eating and weight gain.
  • Being cranky, agitated, or restless.
  • Symptoms often seem worse first thing in the morning. Some people get suicidal ideas such as …”life’s not worth living”.

What causes depression?  The exact cause is open to debate, and many books have been written on the subject. Anyone can become depressed, however some people are more prone to it, and it can develop for no apparent reason. You may have no apparent problem or worry, but symptoms can develop quite suddenly.

An episode of depression may also be triggered by a life event such as relationship breakup, bereavement, redundancy, illness, etc.

In many people  it is a mixture of the two. For example, the combination of a mild low mood with some life problem, such as work stress, may lead to a spiral down into depression.

Who gets depression?  Depression is one of the most common illnesses that Counsellors and GP’s deal with, in fact about 2 in 3 adults have depression at some time in their life, but many people don’t admit to it as its in many ways seen as an invisible illness and people that have not suffered depression cannot understand it.

People with depression may be told by others to ‘pull their socks up’ or ‘snap out of it’.The truth is, they cannot, and such comments by others are not only unhelpful but can plunge someone further into a downward spiral.

Women are slightly more prone to develop depression than men. Particularly common times for women to  become depressed are after childbirth (postnatal depression) and the menopause.

Men however are far less likely than women to seek Professional help, often tending instead to drown their sorrows in alcohol or lose themselves in addiction.

Understanding that  your symptoms are due to depression, and that it is a common illness, may help you to accept that you are ill and need help.

Don’t make any major decisions whilst you are depressed. It may be tempting to give up a job, or move away, to solve the problem. If at all possible you should delay any major decisions about relationships, jobs, or money until you are well again.

There is hope, and Acorn Counselling & Psychotherapy Centre can help. Life gets better and depression goes away. Sleep returns, appetite is regained and relationships improve. Energy returns, self-esteem is rebuilt and the joy of life is rekindled.