Most people feel sad or low at some point in their life. We talk about depression if these feelings persist and intensify. Depression can present in a number of different ways: psychologically, physically and socially.

Psychological symptoms of depression may include:

  • lack of motivation
  • continuous low mood – feeling very sad
  • feeling hopeless and helpless
  • feeling irritable
  • feeling worried all the time
  • having very low levels of confidence
  • having suicidal thoughts

Physical symptoms can include:

  • weight loss or gain through loss of appetite or overeating
  • sleep disturbances

Social symptoms as a consequences of depression may include

  • tensions in your relationships
  • giving up on interests or hobbies
  • not doing as well at work
  • not meeting up with friends anymore; isolating yourself

The severity of these experiences can range from mild symptoms to severe symptoms where a person is actively suicidal. Depression can be short term or long term; it can be a one-off or regular experience.

Depression is usually a symptom and not a cause. The reasons for feeling depressed are different from person to person and can be manifold. Reasons may include for example trouble in a relationship, isolation, lack of assertiveness, traumatic experiences or worries.

In the counselling process we aim to understand the root causes of depression first and then consider what can be done to address the symptoms. You will learn to identify self-destructive trains of thoughts and patterns of behaviour which sustain depression.