Depression and the benefit of counselling.
What is depression?
Psychological symptoms may be experienced such as sadness, feeling anxious, little motivation, feeling low in mood, tearfulness, low self esteem, feeling irritable, suicidal thoughts, no enjoyment, difficulties making decisions.
There may be physical aspects such as moving slower, change in appetite/diet, disturbed sleep, feeling lethargic, menstrual changes and low sex drive.
There may also be social changes such as not wanting to do usual activities such as sports, not functioning well in your job.
If there are a few symptoms as stated above most of the time over say a two week period it is advisable to see your doctor. It may be an indicator of depression (this is simply a guide).
How can counselling help?
Depression may occur for various reasons; it is indiscriminate and can affect anyone. It may be that life has dealt you a severe blow, such as bereavement, loss of job, relationship breakups and negative things in life that occurred in the past which keep getting you down and you can’t seem to deal with it. It may be that you have depression and there seems no reason why.
Counselling can help in two ways:
1) Help you deal with the underlying causes which have caused depression.
2) Help you deal with the effects of the depression.
It is my belief that depression affects people differently, one person’s experiences of it may be different to another's even when there are similarities.
People cope differently with depression some may take antidepressants, some may have counselling, cognitive behaviour therapy is also often successful in helping people deal with depression or a mix of antidepressants and therapy.
As a counsellor I work with the individual and try to understand how depression is for you. A counsellor will work with you to find coping strategies and enable you to better manage the effects. A counsellor can also help you to explore any underlying issues to why you may have depression and examine these with you to remove them from the equation, for example deal with things in the present or past which may have lead or added to depression developing.
Counsellors are here to support you and listen to you, enabling you to take control and deal with your depression.
In my experience antidepressants help with the symptoms of depression, however counselling or other therapies help deal with the reasons that may have lead to the depression. Often a mixture of antidepressants and therapy work well together. Guidance from your GP is always advisable.
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