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Often events around us and our thoughts, feelings and sensations (of which we may be only dimly aware) can trigger unhelpful thinking habits which may lead to negative mood states such as depression, anxiety and stress. When left untreated, these negative effects can have detrimental consequences that can affect various aspects of life including our physical and mental health.
What is Depression?
In Australia, over 1 million adults experience depression every year. Depression is a serious mental health condition that has significant consequences on our health.Studies demonstrate that one in six Australians will experience depression in their lifetime. There are various classifications of Depression namely Major Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Cyclothymic Disorder, Dysthymic Disorder and Seasonal Affective Disorder.
What are the causes of Depression?
There are a number of factors that may trigger Depression, including the following:
- Traumatic life events such as death or a loss, physical, sexual or emotional abuse, witnessing distressing situations (e.g. car accident, domestic violence), marital separation, loss of employment and/or personal disputes with family or friends.
- Personality traits which can be either genetic or may be inherited across generations. A family history of depression may potentially increase the risk.
- Medical conditions which impact the body’s functioning and might lead one to withdraw from family and friends increasing the risks of depression.
- Substance use involving drugs and alcohol increases the risks of mental illness including depression and anxiety. Statistics showed that 40% of people with alcohol dependence developed major depression in their lifetime.
What are the effects of Depression?
People who are suffering from Depression usually struggle to manage from day to day.A person may be depressed, if he or she has experienced Physiological, Psychological and Social symptoms such as:
- Trouble sleeping,
- Frequent episodes of crying,
- Constant tiredness
- Chronic pain, body aches and headaches that does not respond to medication
- Weak immune system making one more vulnerable to infections and diseases such as & chest pain, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol
- Withdrawal from family and friends,
- Overwhelming feelings of vulnerability, anger, irritation and frustration.
- Inability to concentrate and memory deficits
- Impulsive behaviours
- Low performance at work/school
- Suicidal and/or self & harming thoughts
What are the treatments for Depression?
With recent advancements in research, there are a number of treatments available for Depression depending on it’s severity, such as Psychological therapies, Antidepressants medications (e.g. SSRIs, TCA), mood stabilisers (e.g. lithium carbonate) and Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT).
Psychologists Melbourne CBD and Mental health professionals use psychological therapies for depression counselling such as Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Interpersonal Therapy (IPT) and Mindfulness techniques as part of their treatments.Research has demonstrated CBTas one of the most effective and widely used psychotherapy in treating people experiencing various mental health conditions particularly depression, anxiety, phobias, OCD and problems related to alcohol/substance misuse.
At Psylegal, all our Psychologists are highly skilled and trained to provide depression treatment melbourne. One of the most commonly used approaches to therapy is CBT. In this treatment one is taught to:
- Identify the automatic negative thoughts and beliefs that affect their mood. Thoughts are messages generated automatically and randomly from our brain. We cannot stop and control our thoughts, but we can choose how we react to them. By becoming more aware of our thoughts, feelings, and body sensations, we give ourselves the possibility of not getting into the same old “mental ruts” that may have caused problems in the past.
- Challenge negative thinking styles and change entrenched behavioural patterns. Such ‘learned’ behaviours can sometimes be unhelpful and can be corrected by changing our thinking styles. Smoking and using drugs excessively, unhealthy eating and avoiding the things we fear are just some examples of unhelpful behaviours which affects one’s functioning and enjoyment in life.
- CBT involves various strategies such as imagery-based exposure, role-playing, Socratic questioning techniques, pleasant activity scheduling, guided discovery, thought records, behavioural experiments and situation exposure hierarchies. The choice of strategies to utilise is dependent on the individual’s presenting problem and in some cases more than one strategy needs to be employed as part of the treatment.
Depression help Counselling is usually delivered in one-to-one individual therapy. There are also group therapy sessions available which provide the added benefit of peer support and learning.
What to expect in your first session
- You will be thoroughly assessed by our Psychologists better understand your presenting concerns so that an accurate diagnosis can be made.
- The process of treatment and Depression help will be explained – how it works, the expected outcomes and the timeline to achieve these outcomes.
- A treatment plan will be developed in consultation with yourself in which your goals from therapy will be identified with the ability to monitor performance outcomes.