Most people experience periods of feeling low, however depression can cause you to persistently feel sad for weeks, months, or even years. Low self-esteem; feeling worthless or guilty; trouble sleeping; feeling constantly tired; lack of motivation; difficulty concentrating; low appetite; low sex drive; feelings of hopelessness; suicidal thoughts; self-harm; withdrawing from friends and family are all associated with depression.
Depression can often develop gradually. Many people continue to cope despite their symptoms worsening without realising they are depressed. Sometimes it takes a significant event or someone around us to help us realise something is wrong. It is important to remember that depression is a real illness with real symptoms. Depression is not a sign of weakness or something you can “snap out of” by “pulling yourself together”.
There are many contributing factors to how depression can develop. For example, if we have experienced exposure to violence; neglect; abuse, or poverty, we are more vulnerable to depression. Sometimes new parents develop depression after having a baby; this is known as postnatal depression. If depression runs in your family; there is a higher chance you will have depression at some point in your life. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression with a seasonal pattern usually related to winter.
The good news is that counselling for depression is an effective evidence-based way to combat this illness. In a safe, non-judgemental environment, we can help you explore your feelings, discover ways to cope, and bring relief from depression.