Depression is a normal human reaction to events in your life. We all feel a bit low at times when life is challenging or events are out of our control. Depression can also be caused by some medical conditions and it is best to see your doctor first to eliminate these. Below are some of the common risk factors for depression.

  • Death or loss of someone close
  • Relationship break-ups
  • Traumatic life threatening events
  • Financial pressure
  • Unemployment
  • Serious accidents, head injuries, long-term illness, cancer and heart attacks.
  • Some medication
  • Stress or problems at work, school or university
  • Bullying or abuse
  • During pregnancy or after childbirth
  • Menopause
  • Too much change
  • Social isolation
  • Poor nutrition
  • Traumatic childhood
  • Violence or violent behavior- perpetrators and victims
  • Family history
  • Alcohol use
  • Party drugs
  • Lack of sleep
  • Lack of exercise
  • Poor nutrition

Depression can become a problem if symptoms last for more than two weeks and can lead to major depressive disorder. It is important to get help quickly so that you can get back on track. If you have depression you may also notice feelings of anxiety show up as well (see anxiety info).

Symptoms of Depression

  • Feelings of hopelessness, emptiness and worthlessness
  • Poor eating or eating too much
  • Craving carbohydrate
  • Putting on or losing weight
  • Staying in bed
  • Isolating yourself from others
  • Poor personal hygiene or personal care
  • No pleasure in the things that you used to enjoy
  • No energy
  • Easily irritated or quick to anger
  • Trouble sleeping, too much or too little
  • Little interest in sex
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Thoughts about death

Therapy works!

Often we just try to soldier on, pull our socks up, harden up etc, but comments like are mostly unhelpful. If you knew how to get back on track you would have no doubt have already got there. Accessing help quickly means that you can learn valuable skills and get back on track and keep you there. We use a mixture of Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), both proven therapies to help you do the things that will improve your mood and help you learn to manage your mind.

Most people find that 6 sessions of CBT based ACT is adequate to get them back on track. Therapy is about learning new skills.

Some of the skills that you will learn are:

  • How to manage your mind – understanding how sometimes your mind is not your friend
  • Using values as your guide to negotiate life
  • How we become fused with our thoughts (and believe them)
  • Mindfulness
  • How our language causes struggle
  • Ability to allow thoughts to come and go without becoming distracted by them allowing us to follow our heart desires
  • Acceptance – no liking or wanting the feelings or thoughts but giving up the struggle with them\