Feeling low and feeling “down” are part and parcel of life, indeed, it is a perfectly normal response to certain situations we come up against, for example, bereavement, loss or crisis.

The word “depression” is used to cover a wide range of mood problems, from short periods of low mood to a long-term inability to function due to severely low mood. Most cases of low mood will sort themselves out over time as life’s circumstances change.

However, a significant number of people (5% to 10% of the population at any one time) require therapeutic support and intervention. This type of depression is often accompanied by anxiety which can range from troublesome to crippling in its intensity. People who are depressed may feel irritable, experience a sense of emptiness, helplessness and sadness, and often feel completely overwhelmed, losing interest in activities and people they once enjoyed. Such depression is often accompanied by a variety of physical symptoms including lack of energy, sleep problems, loss of appetite and crying.

Depression can affect anybody, however, there are certain “risk factors” that make the problem more likely. These can include:

  • childhood abuse
  • experience of trauma
  • having a parent or grandparent with the problem
  • major loss of a significant person in your life

How Therapy Can Help

Therapy offers a warm, empathic, safe and confidential environment in which the therapist and you collaboratively work towards:

  • Exploring the underlying causes of your depression – this may include losses you have experienced, insecurity or developmental difficulties in your earlier life, unresolved relationship issues with significant people in your life.
  • Acknowledging and expressing feelings and thoughts in relation to experiences that have not been fully worked through in your life.
  • Developing ways to manage your life circumstances and relationships that promote healthy functioning and enable you to deal with life’s challenges in a positive way.

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