Most people feel unhappy or depressed every now and again, but there is a difference between this feeling and when it affects our entire mind and body for an ongoing length of time.
It seriously diminishes our five basic activities:
energy for activity
ability to cope with life
You cannot seem to lift yourself out of your misery or push through it. You feel you have no control over the feelings or experience. Depression can follow a severe loss, such as the death of a loved one, a relationship separation, loss of job or a financial loss. It may come after an illness, an operation or childbirth. Depression can also develop for no apparent reason.
Depression is seen commonly in adolescence, middle age (both men and women), retirement age and in the elderly. It is one of the most common illnesses in medicine, seen around the world and is often confused with other illnesses.
You can experience many symptoms, both physical and emotional. Some, or many of the following symptoms can be experienced:
a feeling of not being able to cope with life (e.g. hopelessness, helplessness)
withdrawing from many interactions and activities
eating problems (e.g. poor appetite)
loss of interest in things such as sex
inability to enjoy normally enjoyable things
tension and anxiety
irritability, anger or fearfulness
feelings of guilt or worthlessness or being unwanted
difficulty concentrating and making decisions
headache, constipation or indigestion
The intensity of the symptoms may vary throughout the day and are usually worse on waking in the morning. If they are severe, you may not feel like living at all.
Suicide is a real risk. Almost 70 per cent of suicides are due to depression. Also, as depressed people can be challenging to live with or be around, there are often relationship breakdowns, exacerbating the situation:
Depression is an illness.
It is more common than is realised.
It just happens; no one is to blame.
It affects the basic functions of energy, sex, appetite and sleep.
It can be lethal if untreated.
It can destroy relationships.
It responds well to treatment, both with psychotherapy and sometimes there is a need for medication.
Somatic Psychotherapy with its holistic approach to the body/mind experience works well with the emotional as well as physical symptoms associated with depression. With some cases we can work directly with therapy and where necessary or appropriate, I work collaboratively with other professionals to provide a multi-modal approach to supporting and working through the triggers or catalysts and the presenting symptoms. Both cognitive exploration and integrative bodywork work well in exploring underlying experiences or causes that may play a part with the depression.