Depression


Posted on February 5, 2019 at 2:47 pm


‘Sometimes it is heavy…like you’re carrying an elephant. Sometimes it’s dark…you wonder if you’ll ever see light. Sometimes it’s bleak…you wonder if you’ll make it through. And some days there are no words to describe it.’-Tonia Funk Brassell

In Depression, the individual suffers from depressed mood, loss of interest and enjoyment, and reduced energy leading to increased fatiguability and diminished activity. Marked tiredness after only slight activity is common. Other symptoms of depression may include:

  • Reduced concentration and attention
  • Reduced self-esteem and self- confidence
  • Ideas of guilt and unworthiness (even in a mild type of episode)
  • Bleak and pessimistic views of the future
  • Ideas or acts of self-harm or suicide
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Diminished appetite or ‘comfort eating’ leading to weight changes
  • Reduced libido

The low mood may vary from day to day (with depression feeling worse on waking), and is often unresponsive to circumstances, yet may show a characteristic diurnal variation as the day goes on. In some cases, anxiety, distress and motor agitation may be more prominent at times than the depression, and the mood change may also be masked by added features such as irritability (especially in young people), excessive consumption of alcohol and changes in personality. There is usually a lack of emotional reactivity to normal pleasurable surroundings or events.

There may be some or more symptoms and other people may notice this before the individual does. Nevertheless, this place is likely to feel lonely with ideas of worthlessness, hopelessness and helplessness.

Causes of Depression

The causes are likely to multi-modal and may be preceded by some trigger-either physical or psychological.

  • Genetics
  • Biological-changes in neuro-transmitter levels, inflammatory pathways
  • Environmental
  • Psychosocial

Risk factors usually include:

  • Life events-bereavement, divorce, work issues, relationship issues, financial problems, medical concerns, acute stress.
  • Personality-usually individuals with previous trauma or limited resilience factors are affected.
  • Some prescription drugs such as steroids, B blockers, interferon etc.
  • Past head injury
  • Chronic physical conditions

Diagnosis

You can seek the assistance of your GP, who can diagnose the condition and start you on appropriate treatment. The GP may need to make a referral to a specialist-Psychologist or Psychiatrist. They will undertake a detailed assessment with comprehensive history, physical examination, investigations and psychometrics to arrive at a diagnosis.

Treatment

Given the causes are multi-factorial, the treatment of depression disorder is also multi-pronged which may include one or combination of the below:

  • Optimisation of nutrition through diet, nutritional supplements
  • Nutraceuticals such as Curcumin, Boswelia etc
  • Support and Psycho-education-Never underestimate the support of your family, friends and community.
  • Counselling and Psychotherapy– Solution Focussed Therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy etc.
  • Psychotropic treatment where indicated.
  • Alternative treatments have also proven to be beneficial such as acupuncture, homeopathy etc.

Although the above may feel daunting, having an answer and explanation is the first step to the solution. There are many people who suffer from depression and go through some very challenging times. Have hope in the fact that this will not last forever and with the right treatment and support, you will spring back into feeling joyful and alive again.

Contact us today and let’s discuss how our practices can help you forget about depression and restore your life again.