Depression - A human response to challenging experiences
Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Jael Ribeiro Reg MBACP
9th May, 20160 Comments
You may be suffering with depression yourself or may have a loved one or a friend that is struggling right now. Take a look at this article and learn more about the topic. The more you learn about the subject the more you can help yourself and your loved ones.
The World Health Organisation characterises depression by “sadness, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, feelings of tiredness, and poor concentration.”
Depression is a human response to challenging experiences; it is nothing to be ashamed of. It affects hundreds of millions of people around the world and it often intrudes in a person’s life without warning. It affects people form all age groups and it seems to be more than a period of deep sadness. For some people it comes as a surprise while others have an idea that something has gone wrong and needs to be put right.
Depression is the result of suppressed feelings. This happens as a response to life’s events for example, a divorce, trauma, abuse, neglect, bereavement, etc. Some appropriate feelings in response to these circumstances could be shock, anger, fear and pain. Yet feelings can be so overwhelming, that trying to control, avoid and suppress them seems to be the first instinct reaction for coping. When this happens though, depression levels rise and the person withdraws. As a result, connecting to the outside world seems too painful or risky. Often one feels stuck, loses hope and sense of direction in life. Sometimes it becomes easier to be depressed because to leave a place of withdrawal means to connect to the world and explore the possibilities of what went wrong.
Depression is not genetic. Although it’s true that some individuals may have a genetic predisposition to depression, in itself that does not mean that those genes can’t be silenced. Experts in the field argue that depression stems from nature or nurture or even a combination of both. A poor environment and unresolved traumatic experiences can activate the depressive genes of those with predisposition. It is not possible to change genetic make up, however, to change the environment and process traumatic experiences helps a great deal. It can actually keep the depressive genes in check and lift depression.
Depression is not beyond hope. Some people despite their fair share of problems still cope whilst with others the depression persists despite all the best medical treatment. Some people find their way out of depression while others still get depressed from time to time. Whichever the circumstance,there are a number of treatments available. They vary according to the symptoms and the severity of the condition. The family doctor may be able to help some people while others may need more specialised treatment. The doctor might prescribe antidepressants, recommend counselling/psychotherapy or a combination of both. Counselling offers the opportunity to explore and heal trapped emotions in a safe environment. It is a chance to learn how to process feelings and experiences and make sense of them. The person can develop emotional resilience and build new coping skills.
About the author
I am a person centred counsellor and I help people struggling with depression, anxiety, trauma, bereavement, relationship problems, abuse and addictions. I believe that everyone strives to be the best they can be and that with the right therapeutic environment people can successfully overcome life's hurdles and heal emotionally.
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