Depression is a common worldwide illness, which according to the World Health Organisation, is affecting more than 264 million people globally.
It is classified as a mood disorder but differs from normal mood fluctuations which emanate from daily life experiences that are typically short-lived emotional responses, as depression tends to last for longer periods and can have a detrimental effect on our overall physical and mental wellbeing.
There are varying levels of depression depending on the causes and how the person is able to manage or cope. It is important to note that feeling low, sad or just generally off at a time is a normal part of life. These feelings may be caused by external factors, such as loss of a friend, or the time of year as in Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD); or they may be due to our own negative thinking.
Depression occurs when we are feeling low, down or hopeless on a regular or continual basis. This who seek help when they recognise these feelings are more likely to recover from depression.
Depending on the number and severity of the symptoms, a depressive episode can be categorised as mild, moderate or severe.
Chronic depression is when there are relapses of depression over an extended period of time.
Some of the symptoms of depression affect your mood while others can affect you physically.
The symptoms of depression include:
- Changes in mood including irritability, anger, anxiousness, hopelessness, mood swings
- Emotional changes including feeling sad, hopeless, anxious, empty, despair, incompetence
- Behavioural changes including withdrawing from social events, loss of interest in activities, feeling tired more often, loss of interest in usual interests/hobbies, thoughts of suicide.
- Sexual Interest including loss of sexual desire
- Cognitive abilities including poor concentration, clouded thinking, overthinking, inability to complete tasks.
- Sleep patterns may be affected in that you could sleep all day and night and still feel tired, or find it difficult to sleep
- Physical wellbeing including aches and pains, fatigue, decreased energy, headaches, changes in appetite and weight.
Types of Depression
There are two main types of depression which are determined the severity and duration of the symptoms. These are major depressive disorder and persistent depressive disorder.
Major depressive disorder
A major depressive disorder is the more severe of the two types and is characterised by persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness and worthlessness that won’t go away on their own. The major depressive disorder has a number of subtypes (eg anxious distress).
Persistent depressive disorder
Formerly known as dysthymia, persistent depressive disorder is a milder, but chronic form of depression. The symptoms are felt for more than two years and can have a major impact on your life because of its duration.
Depression can be treated successively.
At The Hannon Clinic, we can help with the milder forms of depression, in particular, those caused by the internal factors caused by our own thoughts.
Our focus is on teaching the tools and techniques on how to move forward. This is done through the understanding of the different types of thought we have, why we have them, and more importantly HOW to stop them.
The Distraction Process has been developed from Dympna Hannon’s own experience (read Dympna’s story) of having suffered two years of workplace bullying. This left Dympna extremely stressed, anxious and fearful.
The Distraction Process focus on interrupting the negative habit loops of the subconscious mind that we develop over time and that cause us to feel low, worthless or hopeless.
Where counselling helps you to understand the causes and triggers, by you exploring and examining your own experiences, thoughts and feelings, what we do is teach you how to move on from these and to create a more balanced life.
If you're feeling depressed then please don't hesitate to contact us for a FREE consultation with our mental health specialist at our Belfast clinic in Northern Ireland.