Depression is more than sadness, although long term sadness can lead to a depressed state. Depression changes the way you think and feel about life and the everyday activities you are supposed to be involved in. It can interfere with your ability to work, eat, sleep, exercise and socialise.

Depression can be different for different people. Some experience a huge “nothingness” while others might experience anger or resentment. There are however 10 common symptoms of depression, these symptoms can be part of life’s normal ups and downs and the may also indicate the presence of another issue but the longer they persist the more important it is to get help.

  1. Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. A bleak outlook—nothing will ever get better and there’s nothing you can do to improve your situation.
  2. Loss of interest in daily activities. You don’t care anymore about hobbies, pastimes, social activities, or sex. You’ve lost your ability to feel joy and pleasure.
  3. Appetite or weight changes. Significant weight loss or weight gain—a change of more than 5% of body weight in a month.
  4. Sleep changes. Either insomnia, especially waking in the early hours of the morning, or oversleeping.
  5. Anger or irritability.  Feeling agitated, restless, or even violent. Your tolerance level is low, your temper short, and everything and everyone gets on your nerves.
  6. Loss of energy.  Feeling fatigued, sluggish, and physically drained. Your whole body may feel heavy, and even small tasks are exhausting or take longer to complete.
  7. Self-loathing. Strong feelings of worthlessness or guilt. You harshly criticize yourself for perceived faults and mistakes.
  8. Reckless behavior. You engage in escapist behavior such as substance abuse, compulsive gambling, reckless driving, or dangerous sports.
  9. Concentration problems. Trouble focusing, making decisions, or remembering things.
  10. Unexplained aches and pains. An increase in physical complaints such as headaches, back pain, aching muscles, and stomach pain. (www.helpguide.org)

Counselling helps with the symptoms of depression and anxiety. It is important to remember if you have clinical depression and have prescribed medication or anxiety for which you have medication that any changes to your medication need to be discussed with your treating doctor. A counsellor or psychologist can not prescribe medication for depression or anxiety however they can help you with the associated symptoms through psychotherapy.

Counselling helps you focus on strategies to minimise the impact that depression and anxiety has on your life and to understand the ways in which you can learn to take back control. Counselling for depression and anxiety is aimed at challenging the disruptive beliefs and replacing them with beneficial, productive beliefs that enhance your experiences.

Another important aspect of the work you would do with Kate is to identify the triggers that cause the depression and/or anxiety and to recognise these so in the future doing something about this is easier and quicker and little problems don’t become big ones.

If you are struggling with depression and anxiety you don’t need to be because there is help available, email Kate on kate@katestuart.com.au or book now.