Feelings of sadness, loss, and even misery are normal human emotions. These feelings may follow a disappointment, loss of a friend, loss of a job, or a number of other stressful or unpleasant life events. These feelings are common and are experienced by everyone.
Most of the time we recover quite quickly from our sadness, especially if we have other good things happening in our lives. Some people, however, continue to feel extremely miserable for long periods of time even though there may no longer be a good reason for feeling this way. Friends are unable to snap these people out of their depression and pleasant or lucky life events pass by unnoticed.
There are still other people who become extremely depressed for no obvious reason at all. At first they may just feel a bit down and find it difficult to get through the day. As their depression worsens they may lose their motivation to do anything at all until they reach the point where they have trouble even getting dressed in the morning.
Although there is a tendency to label all our unpleasant feelings as 'depression', there are clearly some people whose depression is much more severe than others. Severe depression that occurs for no obvious reason, or that continues for a long time despite the occurrence of pleasant life events and encouragement from friends, is called `major depression' or a 'depressive disorder'.
Signs of Depression:
Any of these features may serve as a warning signal of depression although many may also occur in disorders other than depression.
Treatment of Depression
Deciding to take antidepressant medication is a big step for many people. These drugs will usually relieve depression in most people and may help to prevent relapse of the illness. However, unless episodes of depression occur very frequently, most people do not take antidepressant medication every day of their lives. They only take the medication when they are depressed and continue taking the medication for about six months to one year after recovery.
Many people choose to take antidepressant medication in conjunction with CBT, which is a very effective treatment regime.
Antidepressants do not relieve your depression straight away. These drugs take some time to have an effect on your mood. In the first few days the drugs are most likely to help with sleep and tend to have a calming effect, sometimes making people feel very tired and weak. However, after a week or two of taking the medication regularly this calming effect gives way to increasing alertness and energy. It may take up to eight weeks before the maximum benefits of antidepressant medication are noticed. Therefore, you should not expect to notice the benefits from this medicine too quickly.
There are a number of different types of antidepressant drugs. Ask your doctor for further information about these drugs and their side effects.
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) Extensive research has shown that CBT is the most effective psychological treatment for depression. CBTinvolves the following:
The important thing to know is that there are effective treatments for depression, that you are not alone, that you do not have to suffer. Treat Yourself Well Sydney psychologists and clinical psychologists are experts in this area.
If you are interested in learning more, or to make an appointment, call Treat Yourself Well Sydney on (02) 9555 4810 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org