Depression Counselling: How to overcome depression

Depression is a mental health disorder, characterized by persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness a lack of interest in life and lost pleasure in activities in life.  Depression is a complex condition that has the potential to affect a person’s thoughts, feelings and subsequent behaviours.  It can vary in severity and it can have a significant impact on a person’s daily life and overall well-being.

Some common symptoms of depression are:

  • Persistent sadness or a low mood
  • Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
  • Loss of interest or joy in earlier enjoyable activities
  • Change in appetite or weight
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Fatigue and low energy levels
  • May bring in a feeling of worthlessness or guilt
  • Physical symptoms such as aches and pains without a clear medical cause

In general, experiencing some of these symptoms from time to time is normal, but when they persist for an extended period, like over two weeks in continuation and start to interfere with daily functioning then it may indicate clinical depression.

Causes of depression:

Depression may have a variety of causes, including genetic, biological, environmental and psychological factors.  It may often result from a combination of these factors.  Depression is a treatable condition and various approaches, such as psychotherapy, medication, lifestyle changes, and support from loved ones, can help individuals manage and recover from depression.

When you feel depressed or struggling with depression, it is crucial to seek help from a mental health professional. Depression is a real medical state and with appropriate Counselling, treatment and support, people can effectively manage their symptoms and lead fulfilling lives

Depression is not sadness or Grief

Well, it is normal and natural to feel low and sad when one experiences, the loss of a job, the demise of a loved one, the end of the relationship and other similar states in the journey of life.  Those experiencing loss often might describe themselves as being depressed.

But then, being sad is not the same as having depression. The grieving process is natural and unique to each individual and shares some of the same features of depression. Both grief and depression may involve intense sadness and withdrawal from usual activities but are different.

Grief and depression can co-exist for some people, the death of a loved one, losing a job being a victim of a physical assault or a major disaster can lead to depression. When grief and depression co-occur, the grief is more severe and lasts longer than grief without depression.

Distinguishing between grief and depression is important and can assist people in getting the help, support or treatment they need.

Depression counselling also known as psychotherapy or talk therapy, is an essential component of the treatment for depression. It involves meeting with a trained mental health professional, such as a therapist, counsellor, psychologist, or psychiatrist, to discuss and address the emotional and psychological aspects of depression. This approach helps one, come out of it.

What to do when feeling depressed?

  1. Seek professional help: A mental health professional, such as a therapist, counsellor, psychiatrist, or psychologist, can provide you with the necessary support and treatment options.
  2. Build a support network: Share your feelings with trusted friends and family members. Having a support system can provide emotional support and reduce feelings of isolation.
  3. Self-care: Taking care of your physical and emotional well-being is crucial. This includes getting regular exercise, eating a balanced diet, getting enough sleep, and managing stress through relaxation techniques like mindfulness or meditation.
  4. Set achievable goals: Start with small, manageable tasks to build a sense of accomplishment and self-esteem. Gradually work your way up to larger goals.
  5. Challenge negative thoughts: Pay attention to your inner dialogue and work on reframing negative thoughts into more positive and realistic ones.
  6. Avoid alcohol and substance abuse: Alcohol and drugs can worsen depression symptoms and interfere with treatment. If you have a substance abuse problem, seek help to address it.
  7. Structure your day: Establish a routine to provide a sense of stability and purpose. Having a daily schedule can also help you avoid excessive idle time, which can exacerbate depressive symptoms.
  8. Practice self-compassion: Be kind and patient with yourself. Understand that it's okay to have setbacks, and recovery from depression can be a gradual process.
  9. Engage in enjoyable activities: Participate in activities that you used to enjoy or explore new hobbies that may bring you pleasure and a sense of accomplishment.
  10. Reach out for emergency help: If you or someone you know is in immediate danger or experiencing thoughts of self-harm or suicide, please contact a crisis hotline or seek emergency medical attention immediately.

Depression counselling – How it helps:

  1. Professional guidance: A qualified therapist or counsellor can help individuals understand and manage their depression. They have the expertise to identify underlying issues, provide coping strategies, and offer support throughout the recovery process.
  2. Personalized approach: Depression counselling is tailored to each person's unique needs and circumstances. Therapists work with individuals to develop personalized treatment plans that may include various therapeutic techniques.
  3. Types of Therapy: Several types of therapy may be used in the treatment of depression, including:
    • Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT): CBT helps individuals identify and change negative thought patterns and behaviours that contribute to depression.
    • Interpersonal Therapy (IPT): IPT focuses on improving interpersonal relationships and communication skills, as depression often affects personal connections.
    • Psychodynamic Therapy: This form of therapy explores how past experiences and unconscious thoughts may influence current emotions and behaviours.
    • Mindfulness-Based Therapy: Techniques like mindfulness meditation can help individuals manage symptoms and improve their overall well-being.
  4. Emotional Support: Depression counselling provides a safe and non-judgmental space for individuals to express their feelings, fears, and concerns. This emotional support can be crucial for those struggling with depression.
  5. Learn Coping Skills: Therapy sessions teach practical coping skills that individuals can use in their daily lives to manage depressive symptoms, reduce stress, and improve overall mental health.
  6. Medication: In some cases, therapists work in conjunction with psychiatrists who can prescribe medication. This combination of therapy and medication is known as a comprehensive treatment approach.
  7. Long-term benefits: Counselling can help individuals not only overcome the current episode of depression but also develop strategies for preventing future episodes and maintaining mental wellness.
  8. Duration: The duration of depression counselling can vary widely depending on the individual's needs and progress. Some people may benefit from short-term therapy, while others may require more extended treatment.
  9. Confidentiality: Information shared in therapy sessions is typically confidential, creating a safe and confidential environment for discussing personal issues.

Remember that overcoming depression can take time, and what works for one person may not work for another. It's essential to consult with a mental health professional to create a personalized treatment plan. They can provide the guidance and support needed to navigate the challenges of depression effectively.


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