Depression Symptoms and Treatment

Depression is more than sadness or ‘the blues’. It can can affect every part of your life, including your physical body, your behaviour, thought processes, mood, ability to relate to others and general lifestyle.

This means that your family, social and work relationships are impaired. Depression may be result of significant life circumstances – current or past. Also It may be a  physical side effect of some diseases, of physical trauma and of hormonal changes (therefore,  always have a physical examination as part of an assessment for depression).

Some depression symptoms:

  • Feelings of hopelessness, even when there is reason to be hopeful
  • Tiredness or low energy
  • Decrease in pleasure or interest from regular activities
  • Feelings of worthlessness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Low self esteem
  • Change in sleeping patterns
  • Change in appetite
  • Distorted thinking
  • Recurrent thoughts of self-harm, suicide, dying

Treatment of Depression

The three main ways of treating depression are: psychotherapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), medication.

  1. Psychotherapy – in this approach, you explore the deeper roots of your depression and learn a capacity for self awareness that enables you to manage your life in a fuller way.
  2. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy – this is where you are helped to identify how faulty ways of thinking are making you feel bad.
  3. Medication –  your GP or psychiatrist will recommend medication, usually if depression is severe, if you have had previous depressive episodes, or there is a family history of depression.  The different forms of medication prescribed include Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).
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