When you are depressed everything can feel like an effort and it can be difficult to imagine how anything will ever improve. Depression doesn’t have to be forever. You are not broken, you’re just stuck, counselling for depression can help you clear the fog, despair and feeling of hopelessness and find clarity and hope.
Depression usually manifests as a heavy and enduring feeling of hopelessness that can affect our mood, feelings, behaviour and body. Counselling seeks to find the roots of these depressive feelings and thoughts and explore ways to think differently and feel more positive and hopeful.
Depression is more common than you think
Depression is very common with 1 in 6 of us experiencing it at some point in our life. Counselling for depression is one of the most commonly sought-after reasons for attending therapy.
Is this feeling ‘depression’, am I depressed?
When does feeling ‘low’ or ‘a bit sad’ become something more? When does feeling a bit ‘moody’ become being in a state of depression?
Fluctuations in mood are a natural everyday occurrence but a low mood can sometimes persist for weeks at a time and become depression. Some of the common symptoms of depression can be:
- A constant feeling of lethargy or tiredness.
- Loss of interest in activities or pleasures that you have always enjoyed.
- The feeling that everything is hopeless or pointless.
- An inability to relax or sleep, especially suffering from insomnia.
- Feeling on edge, irritable and out of sorts.
- Loss of appetite.
- Loss of interest in maintaining your appearance or health.
- Feeling anxious and overwhelmed.
- Feeling that there is no point in making an effort.
- Suicidal thoughts or fantasies
The more you identify with the list above and the stronger the feelings, the higher the likelihood is that you are suffering from depression rather than just going through a bad patch.
If you have had thoughts of suicide
If you need some support right now or if you have had thoughts of suicide please talk to someone:
- A good friend or family member.
- Your GP, they treat anything said confidentially and can offer advice.
- Someone you trust and respect: lecturer, religious leader etc.
If you need to talk to someone but don’t want or have anyone close:
- The Samaritans are open 24 hours, seven days a week:
Call 116 123
Specific Samaritan link on wanting to kill yourself: I want to kill myself
If speaking to someone over the phone does not feel right for you, you can make contact via email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Are you worried about someone who you think is suicidal?
If you think a friend or family member is considering suicide, you might be afraid to bring up the subject. But talking openly about suicidal thoughts and feelings can save their life.
If you are looking for advice on how to talk to someone Mind.org have a very helpful page on supporting someone who feels suicidal
When should I seek depression counselling?
There are different degrees of depression, ranging in intensity from mild to severe with a variety of emotions that range from feelings of sadness to abject misery and complete despair. The onset of depression is often linked with life events such as a bereavement, the end of a relationship, a loss of self-belief or perhaps triggered as a result of something traumatic that you have witnessed or been part of.
Depression can be a vicious cycle
Depression has the ability to affect peoples’ functioning, physically, emotionally and cognitively and, because it is often linked to other life events, it can be hard to separate what is going on and what is causing the ‘physical’, ‘emotional’ or ‘cognitive’ response.
Is all depression the same?
The simple answer is ‘No’. This is because no two people will have exactly the same experience or response to any emotion, and depression is an emotional response.
A trained counsellor will firstly, and most importantly, start with what the ‘depression’ feels like for you. This start will have a great deal of impact on how they approach the depression therapy to help someone who’s struggling. A depression counsellor can’t begin therapy with the assumption that they know what the client is feeling. Doing so would imply some sort of formulaic approach, and it would be bad therapy!
How does Counselling for Depression work?
One way of thinking about depression is that it is a type of prolonged sadness and that there is always a reason why we are feeling sad or even depressed. It may not be that we can identify what the ‘trigger’ is for this depression. In fact, often the depression we feel is caused by an event that took place earlier in our lives that we have not yet acknowledged but that has surfaced, in our subconscious and triggered our emotions.
When in counselling for depression, a therapist may support you in developing a programme of self-care to combat the particular kind of depression you are experiencing and to build resilience against spiralling downwards again when you have recovered.
Depression Counselling, how to find the right person to work with
Research shows again and again that the effectiveness of the therapy or counselling is affected by the relationship you have with your therapist or counsellor. It is therefore important that you find someone who you feel comfortable with and who you can build a trusting relationship with.
Counselling for Depression in London
To find a counsellor for help with your depression take a look at the profiles of our Central London Therapists at City Therapy Rooms, each profile is written by the therapist and gives you more information about how they work and their availability.
Please feel free to chat on the telephone to a few therapists or to meet several before deciding who you would like to work with. The initial session is an opportunity for both you and the therapist to decide if you would like to work together.
Some helpful information about depression and depressive behaviour
TedEd – Video explains depression
This video gives statistics for the US but is helpful in understanding depression
Mind.org – Video looks at coping with suicidal thoughts
A helpful resource of articles and guides on all areas of depression both for those suffering and for those supporting. RethinkDepression
Offer lots of good advice to anyone suffering from depression. Helpguide.org