Depression, in Adelaide and round the world, is being successfully treated by clinical psychologists. Whether you ‘fit’ the diagnosis or not, if you are feeling so down that you need to do something about it, that is enough to see a psychologist.
We offer treatment programs for clients with major or mild depression and bipolar disorder. Psychological treatment methods give a high chance of long term and successful results for depression. Some depressed people may also start to experience high anxiety or panic attacks. Anxiety and panic attacks are also highly treatable.
Consultations with a psychologist can help you to understand the causes of depression. There are many possible causes. The development of a depressive disorder can be a response to trauma, loss, grief, stress, relationship problems or even because of physical problems like diabetes or chronic pain. Relationship problems and loneliness are commonly caused by difficulties in dealing with conflict and having poor social skills. Your psychologist is likely to begin with education and the adoption of some simple strategies. However, the emotions can be profound and involve issues of identity, meaning and spirituality. In their treatment programs for depression, psychologists offer opportunity for reflection, insight, personal growth – and change. You will be engaged in a treatment program, after the stage of listening and understanding.
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) provides a structured approach to therapy and has proven to be effective in the treatment of anxiety and depression. CBT examines how your thinking patterns effect how you feel and behave. You can identify the thoughts and situations that trigger and maintain your emotions – and change them. Often our psychologists use other treatment approaches such as Mindfulness, Interpersonal psychotherapy or Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). Discuss the treatment approach that you would like to take. Our clinical psychologists have focused their training on the treatment of anxiety and depression and can take the approach that works for you.
There is good research to show that learning mindfulness meditation protects from a relapse of depression. We run mindfulness mediation groups for adults at both Rose Park and Westbourne Park Psychology. We also have a mindfulness group for adolescents.
Depression and Low Mood
Depression is a label for a collection of symptoms rather than a feeling. Some people may not experience strong negative feeling, rather they may just notice an absence of feelings. Always there is an absence of positive motivation. Many people are not aware that they are depressed, but you may be depressed if you have some of these symptoms.
Clients with depression report five or more of the following:
- A depressed or sad mood most of the day, nearly every day
- Loss of interest and pleasure in almost everything. Low motivation.
- Fatigue and exhaustion on waking
- Disrupted sleep, sometimes through upsetting dreams
- Early morning waking and difficulty getting back to sleep – or oversleeping
- Difficulty concentrating during the day
- Improved energy as the day goes on
- Anxious worrying and intrusive upsetting thoughts
- Becoming emotional or upset for no particular reason
- Shortness of temper, or irritability
- Weight loss or weight gain
- Psycho-motor agitation or retardation nearly every day
- Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt
- Diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness, nearly every day
- Recurrent thoughts of death
- feeling overwhelmed and guilty
- Conflict with others,
- Withdrawal from close family and friends,
- Increased alcohol consumption,
- Decreased or increased eating
The symptoms cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning. Not all people have all of these, and some have different signs, but if you are depressed, at least some of these will probably ring true with you.
Manic Depression or Bipolar Disorder
Manic Depression, otherwise known as Bipolar Disorder, is thought to have a basis in biology, although psychological interventions can still be very helpful. The manic depressive experiences extreme swings from elation and euphoria and acute depression. During the ‘manic phase’ they may spend recklessly and pursue wild and improbable schemes, sleeping little and often being very productive. At the opposite ‘pole’, the person appears and feels lethargic, unmotivated and exhausted. In this phase, the person may be unrecognisable as the same formally manic individual. The swing may take place daily or after many months at one pole.
Postnatal depression (sometimes called post-partum depression) occurs in the mother in the weeks or months following childbirth. It has long been thought that this is due to hormonal changes within the mother. It may have more to do with a lack of adaptation to new circumstances or lack of support and social instability.
Pregnant woman who have little faith in their future abilities to provide effective care for their future babies and who feel generally ill-equipped to become mothers are at risk of going on to develop symptoms after the birth of their child.
However, postnatal depression will respond to treatment.
Dysthymia refers to long term, low grade depression. You may feel a lack of joie de vivre, low motivation and persistent low mood. It may be hard for you to remember many occasions when you have been truly happy.
All our psychologist offer treatment programs for depression, contact us and our receptionist will help you to find the best psychologist for you.
Our psychologists with special interest in postnatal depression are:
Dr Michelle McArthur. Michelle works at our Westbourne Park Psychology practice on Goodwood Road
Beyond Blue gives useful information on their website https://www.beyondblue.org.au/