Depression – Treatment in Adelaide
Depression, in Adelaide and around the world, is being successfully treated with psychological interventions. Whether you ‘fit’ the diagnosis or not, if you are feeling so down that you think something needs to be done, that is enough to justify seeing a psychologist.
We offer treatment programs for clients with major, mild, or persistent depression, as well as bipolar disorder. Psychological treatment methods give a high chance of long-term success in reducing symptoms. Some depressed people may also experience high anxiety or panic attacks along with their depressive symptoms. Happily, anxiety and panic attacks are also highly treatable, and treatment for these issues can be incorporated into therapy for depression.
Consultations with a psychologist can help you to understand the causes of your depression. There are many possible triggers, including trauma, loss, grief, stress, relationship problems, loneliness or even physical problems like diabetes or chronic pain. Your psychologist is likely to begin with education about depression and the adoption of some simple strategies. The emotions involved in depression can be profound and may involve issues of identity, meaning and spirituality. In their treatment programs, psychologists offer opportunity for reflection, insight, personal growth – and change. You will be engaged in an individualised treatment program, after the psychologist has heard your struggles and gained an understanding of what might be causing them.
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) provides a structured approach to therapy and has proven to be effective in the treatment of depression (and anxiety, plus a host of other disorders or symptoms). CBT examines how your thinking patterns affect how you feel and behave. You will learn to identify the thoughts and situations that trigger and maintain your emotions, and importantly, how to change them in a way that promotes your well-being. Often, our psychologists incorporate other treatment approaches such as Mindfulness, Interpersonal Psychotherapy or Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). Please feel free to 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 meditation groups for adults at both Rose Park and Westbourne Park Psychology. We also have a mindfulness group for adolescents at Rose Park Psychology.
Depression and Low Mood
Depression is a label for a collection of symptoms rather than a simple feeling. Some people may not experience strong negative feeling, rather they may 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. Someone with Bipolar Disorder 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.
Postnatal depression tends to respond to treatment, allowing mothers to regain their enjoyment and sense of control over life. Katherine Hunt has a special interest in treating postnatal depression.
Dysthymia (Persistent Depressive Disorder)
Dysthymia refers to long term, low grade depression. You may feel a lack of joy in life, low motivation and persistent low mood. It may be hard for you to remember many occasions when you have been truly happy.
Psychologists at Rose Park Psychology
All of our psychologists offer treatment programs for depression. Contact us and our friendly receptionists will help you to find the best psychologist for you.
Beyond Blue also gives useful information about depression on their website, if you would like to learn more: https://www.beyondblue.org.au/