What is depression? 

Depression can happen to any of us. According to Beyond blue about 5% of Australians are suffering from depression. Depression is a medical diagnosis characterised by persistent sadness, inability to find joy in life, and struggling to cope with day-to-day activities for more than two weeks. There are different types of depression, but most include unrealistic negative thoughts about self and the future.


What are the common symptoms of depression?

The common symptoms can be divided into four types: 

  • Behaviour: avoiding socialisation, avoiding usual activities, inefficient work, difficulty concentrating, alcohol / drug abuse.
  • Feelings: sad, miserable, frustrated, exhausted, guilty, hopeless, lonely.
  • Thoughts: negative thoughts of yourself and the world.
  • Physical: tiredness, headache, change of appetite, change of weight, sleeping problems. 

You might experience some or all of the above symptoms. They are often persistent and pervasive, and it may be hard to find any pleasure in life.

What are the causes of Depression?

The common causes are, biology, genes, personality, self-esteem, trauma, drug abuse, change of seasons, social life, health, stress, medication.

Some people are more likely to experience depression:

  • Pregnant mothers and new parents
  • Retired people
  • Adolescents
  • Unemployed people
  • Minority groups.


How can Balanced Mind Counselling help you?

We will begin by doing talking therapies. Through the sessions we are hoping to change any negative thinking patterns and behaviours to improve your mood. Some of the common therapies include:

  • Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT): has the most research evidence to support it. CBT focuses on changing individual’s thoughts, beliefs, attitude and behaviours to lift up your mood.
  • Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT): can help you stop your negative thinking through “mindfulness meditation”. It normally starts with focussing on your physical feelings, and later moves on to emotional feelings and thoughts.
  • Interpersonal therapy (IPT): a therapy that focuses on social relationships and personality since these contribute a significant part to people’s depression. IPT helps people to discover the relationship patterns they have that made them more vulnerable to depression. Once these patterns are recognised, people can focus on improving them to improve their relationships.
  • Behaviour therapy: focuses on encouraging pleasant and satisfying activities and reverses the negative patterns that are making the depression worse. It is very helpful with mild to moderate depression.

During our therapy sessions we will agree on your goals that we can work towards together. Normally we would take a two-stage approach to improving your wellbeing. Firstly, we would identify the problem and how it is affecting you, so that we can work on skills and behaviours that will provide some immediate improvements to your quality of life. Secondly, we would examine the root causes of any issues to prevent them from affecting you in the longer term. 

At each and every stage, I will treat our discussions as strictly confidential. 

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