Counselling For Depression In London
Depression is a low mood that lasts for a long time, and affects your everyday life. It is a common mental disorder that causes people to experience depressed mood, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self worth, disturbed sleep, low energy, poor concentration, poor appetite. Symptoms can also include a sense of hopelessness and isolation.
In its mildest form, depression can mean just being in low spirits. It doesn’t stop you leading your normal life but makes everything harder to do and seem less worthwhile. At its most severe, depression can be life-threatening because it can make you feel suicidal or simply give up the will to live.
Have you have started to behave in any of the following ways?
- Avoid social events
- Self harm
- Unable to sleep
- Lack of concentration
- Feeling tired constantly
- Physical aches and pains
- No appetite or eating too much
- No interest in sex
- Drinking or using substances more than normal
What causes depression?
There are several ideas about what causes depression. It can vary a lot between different people, and for some people a combination of different factors may cause their depression. Some find that they become depressed without any obvious reason.
Possible triggers for depression may be due to childhood experiences, loss of a relationship, physical health problems, a death, medication, life events or genetic inheritance.
How can you help yourself?
Experiencing depression can make it hard to find the energy to look after yourself. But taking an active role in your treatment, and taking steps to help yourself cope with your experiences, can make a big difference to how you feel.
Here are some things you can try:
- Get good sleep. For lots of people who experience depression, sleeping too little or too much can be a daily problem. Getting good sleep can help to improve your mood and increase your energy levels.
- Eat well. Eating a balanced and nutritious diet can help you feel well, think clearly and increase your energy levels.
- Keep active. Many people find exercise a challenge but gentle activities like yoga, swimming or walking can be a big boost to your mood.
- Look after your hygiene. When you’re experiencing depression, it’s easy for hygiene to not feel like a priority. But small things, like taking a shower and getting fully dressed whether or not you’re going out of the house, can make a big difference to how you feel.
- Make your bed. Start the day by taking control and making the bed is just one way of tackling a small task and starting with how you mean to go on.
- Avoid substances such as alcohol and drugs. While you might want to use drugs or alcohol to cope with any difficult feelings, in the long run they can make you feel a lot worse.
- Work out what makes you happy. Try making a list of activities, people and places that make you happy or feel good. Then make a list of what you do every day. It probably won’t be possible to include all the things that make you happy but try to find ways to bring those things into your daily routine.
- Treat yourself. When you’re feeling down, it can be hard to feel good about yourself. Try to do at least one positive thing for yourself every day. This could be taking the time for a long bath, spending time with a pet or reading your favourite book. See our relaxation tips for some ideas of things to do.
- Create a resilience toolkit. This could be a list of activities you know improve your mood, or you could fill an actual box with things to do to cheer yourself up. Try including your favourite book or film, a notebook and pen to write down your thoughts or notes of encouragement to yourself. It might feel difficult or a bit silly to put it all together but it can be a really useful tool if you’re feeling too low to come up with ideas later on.
- Be kind to yourself. None of us achieve all our goals. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t do something you planned to, or find yourself feeling worse again. Try to treat yourself as you would treat a friend, and be kind to yourself.
If you find that these strategies are simply not working or impacting your mood then engage in psychological support and book a consultation.
Depression in Children and Adolescents
Adolescents are often moody. But if your child is extremely irritable, has ongoing problems with motivation, or has persistent sadness that lasts two weeks or more, it’s a good idea to have him or her evaluated for depression.
While antidepressant medications can be effective for children and adolescents, they can have side effects in young people, including an increased risk of suicidal thoughts. For that reason, many parents and healthcare providers prefer to try treating children with psychotherapy first. Both CBT and IPT are effective treatments for young people with depression. Please book a consultation if any of the symptoms raise alarm bells for your child.
What depression treatment is available?
There are many different talking treatments that can be effective in treating depression as an integrative therapist these can be tailored around your individual needs:
- Interpersonal therapy (IPT)
- Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
- Psychodynamic psychotherapy
- Couples therapy – if you have a long-term partner, and your doctor agrees that it would be useful to involve them in your treatment
‘Dr Jane gave me techniques to use as I moved forward helped me get on the right track’
How can therapy for depression help?
Depression isn’t a sign of weakness. It’s not something you can just “snap out of.” It’s an illness that requires professional treatment. Antidepressant medications can be helpful for reducing depression symptoms in some people, especially in people with severe depression. However, this is most effective in conjunction with talking therapy. The benefits of psychotherapy may have an enduring effect that protects against symptoms returning even after treatment is ended.
The focus of depression therapy would be to:
- Pinpoint life events that contribute to their depression and help them find ways to change, accept or adapt to those situations.
- Set realistic goals for the future.
- Identify distorted thought processes or unhelpful behaviors that contribute to feelings of hopelessness and helplessness.
- Develop skills to cope with symptoms and problems, and identify or prevent future episodes of depression.
- Patients learn to identify and manage negative thought and behaviour patterns that can contribute to their depression.
- Explore how to improve relationships with others by better expressing their emotions and solving problems in healthier ways.
Psychotherapy & Counselling for Depression London
To schedule a confidential consultation to discuss how I can help you overcome depression through bespoke therapy and treatments, simply call on 0207 205 2868 or complete the online enquiry form.