Treatment for Depression

Depression

Under the umbrella of the term depression is Major Depressive Disorder and its related mood disorders including Bipolar Disorder, Post Partum, Cyclothymia, Dysthymia and Dysphoria.

1 in 7 Australians experienced depression in the past 12 months. That’s a total of 2.83 million people according to Beyond Blue. 1 in 6 will be women compared to 1 in 8 men. The statistics indicate that around 50% of these individuals are actively seeking treatment for this condition.

Common symptoms of Depression are: 

  • Depressed mood for most of the day
  • Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all activities (Anhedonia)
  • Significant weight loss or gain
  • Insomnia or hypersomnia nearly everyday
  • Psychomotor agitation or retardation nearly everyday
  • Fatigue or loss of energy nearly everyday
  • Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt
  • Diminished ability to think or concentrate, indecisiveness nearly everyday
  • Recurrent thoughts of death, recurrent suicidal ideation without a specific plan

How is Depression diagnosed?

There is a destinct difference between being sad and being depressed. Sadness is experienced by all human beings and is usually transient. Depression is a medical condition and is diagnosed using the Diagnostic Statisical Manual (DSM) used by all medical professionals.

As mentioned above there are several variations of depression but we will just address the most common that being Major Depression. For an individual to be diagnosed with this condition the following criteria must be satisfied.  Of the above list 5 (or more) must have been present during the same 2 week period and represent a change from usual functioning. One of the symptoms has to either be 1) depressed mood or 2) loss of interest in pleasure.

Social isolation

Depressive disorders reduce an individual’s quality of life sinking them in to a world of loneliness, despair and intense feelings of hopelessness.

Treatment for Depression

This usually consists of assessing the narratives that the individual holds that bring about their depressive thoughts. These narratives are explored in terms of causation, reinforcing behaviours and interpersonal relationships. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) explores the impact of these narratives and challenges the individuals belief that these narratives represent a rigis mind set that does not allow for alternatives views and behaviours that will allieve the inidividuals suffering. If you would like to know more about how CBT works in the treatment of Depression click on the link below to make an appointment.

 

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