Joanne Regina, M.A., MBABCP, MBACP, EMDR (UK & IRE)
Counselling and Psychotherapy
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Depression is a mood disorder that can affect all areas of a person’s life. It can leave you feeling isolated, exhausted, immobilised, and hopeless. When you’re depressed, it can feel like you’ll never get out from under a dark shadow. Factors that contribute to developing depression include genetics, biochemical factors, illness, personality traits, adverse childhood experiences, ageing, and stressful or traumatic life events.
What does depression look like?
Depression symptoms can vary from mild to severe and can include:
Depression is different from sadness or grief/bereavement
The death of a loved one, loss of a job or the ending of a relationship are difficult experiences for a person to endure. It is normal for feelings of sadness or grief to develop in response to such situations. Those experiencing loss often might describe themselves as being “depressed.”
But 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. They are also different in important ways:
In grief, painful feelings come in waves, often intermixed with positive memories of the deceased. In major depression, mood and/or interest (pleasure) are decreased for most of two weeks.
In grief, self-esteem is usually maintained. In major depression, feelings of worthlessness and self-loathing are common.
For some people, the death of a loved one can bring on major depression. Losing a job or being a victim of a physical assault or a major disaster can lead to depression for some people. When grief and depression co-exist, the grief is more severe and lasts longer than grief without depression.
Despite some overlap between grief and depression, they are very different. Distinguishing between them can help people get the right treatment needed to improve their situation.
As different factors contribute to a person's presenting symptoms and difficulties- I employ an integrative approach rather than so-called "manualised" therapy which is tailored based on each individual's unique experience and needs.
© Joanne Regina Counselling and Psychotherapy