Depression is a low or bad mood that won’t go away and which, for the sufferer, affects their everyday life in a negative way. Levels of depression can vary from mild to severe. Symptoms of depression may include feeling:
- Down, upset or tearful
- Restless, agitated or irritable
- Guilty, worthless and down on yourself
- Empty and numb
- Isolated and unable to relate to other people
- Finding no pleasure in life or things you usually enjoy
- You have no self-confidence or self-esteem
- Hopeless and despairing
Depression can affect anyone. Stephen Fry is an example of a high profile individual who suffers from and lives with depression. He said the following: “If you know someone who is depressed, please resolve never to ask them why. Depression isn’t a straightforward response to a bad situation; depression just is, like the weather. Try to understand the blackness, lethargy, hopelessness, and loneliness they’re going through. Be there for them when they come through the other side. It’s hard to be a friend to someone who’s depressed, but it is one of the kindest, noblest, and best things you will ever do.”
Fry mentions the blackness, lethargy, hopeless and loneliness of depression. I have worked with many clients helping improve their mental health who have experienced similar emotions. I have a track record of supporting people, most often when they are finding life a struggle and can see no future ahead of them.
Here is a quote from a client when writing on Bipolar Disorder, “It’s a tremendous burden to live with and it makes almost every day a struggle…the darkest times will lead to the brightest moments, hang in there”.
Being no stranger to clinical depression in the past myself, and living with Bipolar Disorder in my family, I know first-hand how bad it can feel to experience devastating impact of this illness. Time and time again, clients’ express feelings of utter worthlessness and some have described feelings of ‘wading through treacle’ – a heaviness and blackness that you cannot just snap out of. If a depressed person could just snap out of their illness, then don’t you think they would?
Counselling to help with depression
Everyone is individual in terms speed of recovery and clients’ well being improves at different rates. There are no guarantees, but if you are willing to try, there is a good chance I can support you. Sometimes it is a case of adapting expectations and learning how to manage and live with depression rather than necessarily finding a ‘cure’. Certainly, experience informs me that medication and talking therapies often work well together. In an ideal world, no medication would be necessary, but then we are not in an ideal world!
If you are living with Bipolar Disorder, counselling can work well with this type of illness. The combination of person-centred counselling, alongside CBT caters well for the mood-swings and I have experience of helping people to manage this condition (alongside visits to their GP). It is important to regularly assess and monitor mood with this condition and there are times when it may be necessary to ‘put counselling on hold’ if you are in a particularly vulnerable state of mind. Frequent risk assessments are conducted, as appropriate.
There is no need for anybody to suffer with depression alone. There is a huge amount of support and advice available including from MIND I am an experienced counsellor working in Basingstoke helping improve the lives of people living with depression. For a confidential initial discussion with no obligation email me or call 01256 976747.