Depression Counselling in London
What is Depression?
Everyone feels sad at times, but the sadness usually goes away. However for some people, these sad feelings remain for a long time. A person who feels bad about themselves for a long time might have depression.
Depression is a mental health issue that affects an individual's moods. Moods are the way we feel and how we express those feelings. Someone who suffers from depression may feel angry, irritable, sad, tired, confused, guilty or worthless. A person who is depressed may lose interest in almost everything they used to enjoy.
Depression is a mood disorder characterised as a state of feeling sadness, emptiness, hopelessness, or worthlessness. These feelings are chronic and last longer than a month but has been known to last years. While there are many different types of depressive disorders, typical depressive symptoms include, but are not limited to, persistent feelings of sadness, melancholic mood leading to loss of interest in ordinarily pleasurable activities, irritability, concentration problems, significant weight loss or gain, and even suicidal ideation or behavior. If left untreated, depression could diminish professional and relational functioning, and may even have detrimental affects on physical health.
Depression can also cause physical changes in the body. Someone with depression may also have aches and pain or other health conditions. Depression can also change the way an individual behave. Somebody with depression may yell and throw things, eat too little or too much, have trouble sleeping or feel tired most of the time.
How Common is Depression in the UK?
Statistics show that depression is a serious problem world-wide, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), depression will be the second leading cause of disability world-wide by the year 2020. International Health Studies show that depression has been on the rise in the UK, with a 15% increase in people diagnosed with depression in a single year, from 2013 to 2014. In 2014, approximately 19.7% of UK’s population reported depressive symptoms, with women having slightly higher rates than men.
Experts estimate that although an unknown population struggles with depression, but do not seek help for the condition, depression seems to be increasing at an alarming rate. It is estimated that 1 in 4 people in the UK are depressed, with around 50% of those cases having relapses. Suicidal ideation or behavior is just one of the serious aspects of this condition, and records show that roughly 6000 people commit suicide every year in the UK; that’s one suicide every 90 minutes!
What Causes Depression?
While there are many causes to depression, the four most prevalent etiologic factors are social, biological, psychological, and neurological.
Depressive Realism is a term used by mental health clinicians to describe social factors thought to cause depression. Depression is mostly a response to some type of precipitating stressor (such as the dissolution of a relationship or becoming unemployed). So, depressive realism in social factors consist of social problems such as a poor state of healthcare, recession, and poverty. Other interpersonal causal factors of depression are the dissolution of a relationship, family problems, financial problems, and loss.
A family history of depression significantly increases the risk of developing depressive symptoms. Recent hereditary studies conducted in Great Britain identified a specific gene which was shown to be a link in nearly 1000 families who suffered reoccurring depressive episodes. Hereditary factors are just one component of the biological causes of depression.
Neurological causes of depression revolve around the processing of neurotransmitters, particularly Serotonin. Neuroscientists believe that Serotonin deficiency is a common cause of depressive symptoms.
A growing body of psychological studies conducted since 1980 show that distorted cognition is a major causal factor in the development of a depressive disorder. In other words, negative or distorted thinking lead to negative emotional consequences, such as depression. For example, a man has a pattern of cognition (thinking) that involves, disqualifying the positive. In every situation of the man’s life, he downplays or even ignores the positive aspects and focuses only on the negative aspects. This leads to depression and occurs in a patter.
How Can Counselling help with Depression?
Clinical counselling provides 4 essential therapeutic elements in the treatment of depression (and other mental disorders). The 4 essential elements are catharsis, validation, amelioration, and psychoeducation.
- Catharsis refers to the release of psychic tension and negative emotions that occurs when people talk to a counselor, tells them what’s wrong as well as how they feel about it, which helps them to ‘gets it off of their chest’.
- Emotional validation occurs as the therapist provides the patient with unconditional positive regard, as well as acceptance.
- Amelioration occurs as the patient begins to understand the not only the true nature of their maladaptive thinking or behavior, but also how they developed these maladaptive thinking and behavior.
- Psychoeducation is the fourth and final therapeutic element that helps the client heal. Psychoeducation is the process of teaching the patient new life-skills such as boundaries management, communication skills, and healthy coping skills. These skills are necessary for the prevention depression relapses.
The Benefits of Counselling for Depression
The benefits of clinical counselling are plentiful as relief from symptoms of depression is merely the beginning. Patients learn vital life skills in counseling such as relationship management, communication skills, healthy coping behaviors, problem-solving skills, and even psychological empowerment which may facilitate greater success in educational, professional, and or social pursuits.
In addition to these invaluable benefits, the patient’s loved ones also benefit from counseling indirectly as the patient is now more relationally functional. In other words, clinical counselling can not only provide the potentially life-saving benefit relief from depression, but it can also improve the lives of the patient’s family by helping the patient to become more resilient, resourceful, and happier.
Dealing with Depression
Depression is a type of emotional crisis which is normally a response to a negative external event. Emotional crisis comes in two general forms, 1) developmental emotional crisis, and 2) situational emotional crisis. Developmental emotional crisis are unavoidable events in one’s life that while necessary for personal growth, cause distress. An adolescent emerging into adulthood and leaving high school for the more intimidating and mundane world of the job market is an example of developmental emotional crisis. A situational emotional crisis are events that happen as a matter of circumstance which cause distress such as getting fired from a job. A state of emotional crisis effects chemicals in the brain, which are one of the reasons for the extreme emotions (such as sadness) and may last up to 3 weeks. After this initial period, the brain reaches a state homeostatic equilibrium, which improves mood, but does not improve the condition.
The way people cope with this state of emotional crisis is critical to their personal growth. Coping behaviours come in two forms, 1) healthy coping behaviors, and 2) unhealthy coping behaviors. Healthy coping behaviours to emotional crisis facilitates personal growth by helping the person learn from the experience, as well as finding effective methods to aid their resilience. Unhealthy coping behaviors have the opposite effect, they interfere with learning and decrease resilience, making the person prone to emotional crisis. These behaviours occur in patterns and requires professional clinical counseling to intervene to affect positive change. Only in this manner may a person who is struggling with chronic depression learn to deal with the depression.
When to seek help for Depression
Feeling low is a normal emotion to experience some times and determining when to seek treatment for low mood and depression can be difficult. Typically, when your low mood is preventing you from fulfilling your activities of daily living at work, school, or home, it is time to seek some help.
Treatment for Depression in London
It is possible to treat and manage depression and therapy can be very successful in resolving low mood and depression.
Depression may be treated using a combination of psychotropic medication and therapy. Mental health clinicians understand that patients suffering from depression need immediate relief from their symptoms before therapeutic interventions can effectively take place. Patients are treated with medication, mostly Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI) along with other anti-depressants designed to provide immediate symptom relief (improved mood), so that mental health counselors can provide psychotherapy to treat the underlying psychological causes of depression. Cognitive Behavior Therapy has shown greater efficacious results in treating depression and preventing relapse than just anti-depression medication alone.
Cognitive and Behavioral Therapy (CBT) helps you to identify and challenge negative thinking and irrational beliefs that trigger depression. Mindfulness is a skill to directing your attention to the present moment and your responses to it physically, mentally, and emotionally. Tips for managing depression pertain to being mindful of yourself physically. Manage caffeine intake, eat balanced meals, and give yourself a physical outlet for energy such as exercise. With your therapist, you can work to identify triggers, responses, and a plan to cope with the triggers.
For more information about talking therapies and treatment programmes available at our Clinics in London please visit our Treatment page.
How to Get Therapy for Depression in London
We offer Psychological Therapies for Depression to Adults, Children and Teenagers at our clinics in Central London.
London Therapists for Depression
All our London Therapists offer Psychotherapy and Counselling for Depression to Adults, Children and Teenagers. Click here to meet the Team.