We offer treatment for Depression in our clinics in Godalming (near Guildford), Surrey and Haywards Heath, West Sussex, Petersfield and Portsmouth.
Depression is quite common and affects about one in five older people. Therefore it is likely to affect many of us at some point in our lives. Depression affects people in different ways and can manifest in a number of different symptoms, ranging from lasting feelings of sadness and hopelessness, to losing interest in the things you used to enjoy and feeling very tearful. Many people with depression also experience anxiety. There can be physical symptoms too, such as feeling constantly tired, sleeping badly, having no appetite or sex drive, and experiencing various aches and pains.
Symptoms of Depression
Most people will experience elements of depression from time to time, but where it becomes a problem is when the symptoms are present for several months or longer.
There are numerous symptoms that can be split across three areas as follows:
- continuous low mood or sadness
- feeling hopeless and helpless
- feeling worthless and useless
- feeling guilt-ridden
- feeling irritable and becoming intolerant of others
- having reduced motivation or interest in things
- finding it difficult to make decisions
- not getting any enjoyment out of life
- feeling anxious or worried
- having suicidal thoughts or thoughts of harming yourself
- lack of energy/lethargy
moving or speaking more slowly than usual
- reduced concentration
- change in appetite or weight (usually decreased, but sometimes increased)
- unexplained aches and pains
- lack of interest in sex
- disturbed sleep (for example, finding it hard to fall asleep at night or waking up very early in the morning)
- struggling at work
- taking part in fewer social activities and avoiding contact with friends
- isolating yourself in your home
- neglecting your hobbies and interests
- having difficulties in your home and family life
What causes Depression?
Sometimes there is a trigger for depression. Stress, Life-changing events, money worries, bereavement, losing your job, illness or even having a baby, can bring it on. However sometimes it is more difficult to pinpoint a cause and it may be an accumulation of experiences over many years, many of which you may have had little awareness was impacting you.
People who are highly determined and driven and pride themselves on ‘getting on with life’ can be particularly vulnerable. People with a family history can also be more likely to experience it themselves.
Types of Depression
- previous mental health problems
- lack of support
experience of abuse
- low self-esteem
- poverty and poor living conditions
- major life events
Postnatal depression is treated in similar ways to other forms of depression, with talking therapies and antidepressant medicines.
Bipolar Disorder used to be known as “manic depression”. In Bipolar disorder there are spells of depression and excessively high mood (mania). The depression symptoms are similar to normal depression, but the bouts of mania can include unhelpful/harmful behaviour such as gambling, going on spending sprees and having unsafe sex.
For more information on Bipolar disorder please visit our Bipolar disorder section.
Also known as “winter depression”, SAD is a type of depression that has a seasonal pattern usually related to winter and is caused by shortened daylight hours.
For about 20% of the UK population, mildly debilitating symptoms of SAD cause discomfort but not serious suffering. This is called “Sub-syndromal SAD” or “Winter Blues”. For about 2%, SAD is a seriously disabling illness which prevents normal function without appropriate treatment.
Treatment for Depression
We would typically recommend Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) (or therapeutic approaches derived from CBT including Compassion Focused Therapy, Schema Therapy and Mindfulness), which is recommended by NICE as one of the most effective interventions for depression and low mood.
Research suggests that once you have experienced an episode of depression in your life you are more likely to have recurring episodes. However Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) shows excellent results (through research trials) at reducing the risk of it recurring. MBCT was designed for people who have had depression in the past but who are not actively depressed although research is now suggesting it might be helpful for those people who are also in the midst of depression.
The Psychologists within The Psychology Company have extensive training and experience using Mindfulness as a way of helping people manage their difficulties and all have their own regular mindfulness practice (which is in line with good practice guidelines).
Assessment & Treatment
We offer assessment and treatment for Depression in our clinics in Godalming (near Guildford), Surrey and Haywards Heath in West Sussex.
If you would like to arrange an initial confidential telephone conversation for you or someone you know, please get in touch.