Depression is a highly complex and potentially devastating condition that affects people for all walks of life, regardless of age, gender, and cultural or socio-economic background. People who suffer from depression or who have suffered from this can testify to the fact that it can affect many or all aspects of everyday living, including your physical, emotional, psychological and social life.
It is a highly complex condition in that it can’t simply be understood as a set of symptoms in a simplified checklist under an ambiguous label such as depression, as this can lead and has lead to an over-diagnosing or misdiagnosis that can have serious consequences. Depression can also be potentially devastating to the sufferer and to the people close to them because if left without seeking help and treatment, it can potentially lead to incidents of self-harm to hospitalization and suicide.
Although there’s not enough room here to explore all aspects of depression here, I will touch upon one in this article and will explore some of the others in a follow up article on depression.
The Common Signs of Depression
Before we look a little deeper into some of the important aspects of depression, we can first touch upon some of the more overt signs and symptoms that define the condition of depression.
- A diminished interest and pleasure in many or all activities in everyday life
- Long lasting feelings of fatigue and loss of energy
- Feelings of worthlessness and thoughts of excessive guilt
- The marked diminished ability to think and concentrate
- Insomnia or excessive sleeping
- Recurrent thoughts of death and suicidal thinking
Some underlying features of depression
One of the important aspects of depression is its symptomatic connection to the experience of grief and loss. As has been noted by Freud in his seminal 1917 paper ‘Mourning & Melancholia’, the set of symptoms and others that relate to depression have a striking resemblance to someone who is going through the process of mourning. The one important difference between mourning and severe depression is the serious loss of self-esteem that happens with depression but not with grief and loss.
Unlike the experience of mourning, where it is clear to the individual why they are experiencing the painful emotions of grief and the accompanying emotions and thoughts that come along with the painful loss of a loved one, the loss that is associated with depression is can sometimes not be so clear to the sufferer, yet is intimately connected to the diminished self-esteem that occur in depression. As Freud (1917) states, “In mourning, the world has become poor and empty, in melancholia it is the ego (self) that has become so”. In many respects, the symptomatic expression of mourning and depression are very similar except in mourning, the loss occurs in the external world, in depression, the loss can be attributed to the individuals internal world.
Counselling for Depression can help
Counselling and psychotherapy for depression can not only greatly diminish the symptoms of depression but more importantly, to help you to overcome some the underlying causes for the symptoms of depression so that you can move forward in your life without them returning later on in your life.
If you or someone you know is showing signs of depression, it’s important to seek out the help, support and treatment that is necessary.
If you would like to go into counselling for depression in Melbourne or any other difficulties you may be having, please get in touch either by phone or email.
Depression Counselling Melbourne
Paul Reid – Counselling & Psychotherapy