Counselling for Depression
By Christina Radziejewski, MA, RCC
It is natural and normal to feel sad or to get upset over the loss of a job, the end of a relationship, or the death of a loved one. Mentally healthy individuals accept and learn to live with such losses over time. It is when sadness lingers for two weeks or more and begins to disrupt regular life functioning, that help may be needed.
Help for Depression
Depression is an illness suffered by millions around the world. The good news is that counselling for depression has been known to be effective for many people. In more severe cases, with the advice of a doctor, treatment may include anti-depressants in addition to therapy.
A referral from a medical professional is not necessary for individuals suffering from depression to seek counselling. Anyone who is motivated to feel better, can call a qualified and trained counsellor or therapist of their choice and begin work.
Recognise the symptoms of Depression
People who are depressed are affected mentally, physically, and emotionally. They feel a profound and pervasive sense of sadness that seems to linger for a long time, as well as a sense of worthlessness and helplessness. They may describe feeling extreme exhaustion or lethargy, and profess a loss of interest in activities in which they used to find pleasure.
Depressed people may also be easily distractible or irritable, and they may find themselves struggling with sleepless nights, and either a loss of appetite or significant weight gain. They may also worry, for some, quite severely, leading to the development of anxiety.
For some, depression is seasonal, and is most often especially bad during the winter months. These individuals may be suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder (read about Seasonal Affective Disorder here).
If left untreated, depression could lead to deterioration in relationships as loved ones fail to understand what has occurred, or how they could help. Family members may feel guilt as they wondered what they may have done to “cause” the depression. Those who are uninformed may ask the depressed one to “snap out of it”.
Work may also begin to suffer as depressed individuals are not able to focus on the job at hand. Co-workers and supervisors may be unsympathetic, and the work environment may become an unpleasant place to be. As a result, productivity drops and work suffers.
Those who suffer this sometimes debilitating experience can find hope in the knowledge that help is available to treat depression.
Can counselling help me with my depression?
Is treatment for depression effective? Yes. Depression can be treated with counselling. Counsellors trained to treat depression use different therapeutic approaches such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (read What is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy), and other types of therapies, to help depressed clients understand the root of their depression. Through talking, depressed individuals are encouraged to express feelings that they may have repressed, not have had a chance to, or know how to, express fully.
Counsellors may introduce a variety of coping techniques, in their treatment plan for their client’s depression. They may also help their clients draw up a plan with realistic goals that can bring about mental and emotional wellness. This may include identifying important relationships and what clients could do to make healthy connections with others. It may also include reviewing relationships at work, how these may have affected clients, and what he or she could do differently.
Treatment for depression may also include helping clients to identify a support network of family and friends that could be there for them on a reliable and regular basis. Clients may also be asked to include in their goals, a variety of other activities that would complement therapy. For example, having a regular fitness routine or joining a community, could help clients feel much better about themselves.
Research has shown that counselling for depression helps to decrease its intensity, and reduce their recurrence. If you are feeling depressed, know that you do not have to suffer alone. Find a counsellor today in whom you could trust, begin the road to recovery and regain control of your life.
Get Help for Depression Today
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