If you are experiencing sleep disruption, lack of concentration, chronic fatigue, finding the world a bleak and negative place, generally feeling pessimistic and demotivated thinking about the future, suffer with deep emotional pain or numbness, then these symptoms may mean that you are suffering with depression.

Depression can significantly affect all areas of our lives, the ability to work or earn money, how we feel around and interacting with members of our family, relating to our friends or colleagues, capacity to take care of our basic needs and life responsibilities. All areas can be affected, and sometimes catastrophically.

Before depression is diagnosed, it can present itself as physical symptoms such as body pain, physical discomfort, skin conditions, headaches, different illness or disorders such as cardiovascular issues.  The difficulty in prompt diagnosis may lie precisely in the lack of ability by the person, to explain or communicate their problems with other people.

Sharing concerns about the state of our mental health, even with the people closest to us, can feel impossible, usually because we do not understand what is happening ourselves. After all, our mind and thinking has been altered. However, we cannot hide our suffering indefinitely. In most cases, it is the people around us who show concern or encourage us to take action. Sometimes as a result of open conversation, we decide to see a specialist.

Depression is a severe chronic illness and cannot be expected to subside without help. A referral to a psychiatrist for professional diagnosis and a plan for systematic treatment and care, through counselling, will at least open up the possibility of recovery. It is important however, to take these steps to support the healing process.

The counsellor selects the most appropriate, efficient and proven method of psychotherapy to ensure that the systematic treatment can alleviate the symptoms of depression. Adjustments are selected through therapeutic interventions to fit the person’s individual needs and abilities. For example, the psychotherapeutic process can focus on identifying and examining existing thought patterns and the introduction of strategies to confront and monitor unwanted thoughts and ideas.

The aim of the psychotherapeutic process is to help reduce symptoms of depression and to enable us to look to the future with a balanced and optimistic attitude.  Working with a counsellor can help us to perceive and appreciate our life in the moment, seeking value in the current time, with a calmer and clearer mind.

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