Depression is not a choice
Can online therapy provide help for depression?
Online therapy can provide the opportunity for finding support in a very accessible and convenient way. This therapy service can help people access the help they need when they need it.
People with depression need compassion, help and support. If someone has a broken leg, there is often understanding and support given freely, and people can see it and understand it. Depression is not always noticeable, and can it go unseen? Even family and friends can be ignorant of what it is and not see it as depression.
Depression is an illness and needs to be understood as such. It is not by choice that people suffer from this condition, just like someone who falls over and breaks their leg and has no choice but to feel the physical pain, a person with depression also has no choice but to feel the emotional pain.
What is depression?
It’s not just feeling sad or down; it’s a condition that affects the person both mentally and physically.
Someone experiencing bereavement after a death of a loved one is not considered to be depressed, but in time they can become depressed if the grieving process is in one way or another interrupted. Depression can be a very complex illness with some hidden influences, and these can take time to uncover and address.
We do not treat the depression; we help the person, depression is a symptom that may have been growing day by day, sometimes slowly over months or years due to constant high levels of stress or other complex issues, or it can start after a traumatic experience or strikes seemingly without warning.
What kind of depression?
All mental illnesses are complex, and the individual’s experience will vary from person to person. Determining what depression is can be difficult.
What is the difference between feeling down and being depressed?
Add into that the understanding that grief is not classed as depression. So, mental health professionals tend to look at the overall symptoms and try to identify several criteria to form a diagnosis. This is usually just asking the patient list of questions to form a conclusion.
Major depression is a quite common form of depression, often caricatured by an overwhelming feeling of negativity and helplessness and low self-esteem. Other symptoms range from being unable to sleep or sleeping too much, losing their appetite, and the inability to feel any pleasure from any activities. They may shun all social activities and stop washing, and generally neglect their personal hygiene.
Treatment is usually the same for other kinds of depression with anti-depressants and talks therapy like psychotherapy, and general counselling offered when available.
People going to their doctor will generally be given a classification regarding how severe their depression is at that time.
Usually, the diagnosis is established through identifying symptoms from a checklist of standard questions to understand the severity. These questions will cover things like moods eating habits sleep patterns and wellbeing.
The diagnosis can range from mild and moderate to server depression. If the depression is classed as mild or moderate the patient could be offered a range of talk therapies, including General counselling or psychotherapy and CBT, and in some cases, antidepressants, depending on the doctor.
With severe depression, doctors will offer anti-depressants and talk therapy but may also refer patients to a psychiatrist or psychologist for further evaluation.
Most depression is short-lived and only lasts a few weeks, any longer and people do need to seek help, depression is treatable, and most people make a full recovery.
Dysthymia also referred to as Persistent depressive disorder, is classed as a low mood that persists for two or more years People with this form of depression lose interest in hobbies or anything they usually used to enjoy.
Everything can seem harder to do, from daily tasks like shopping and cleaning to being unable to feel any enjoyment. They may seem like all they do is complain or moan about everything.
It lowers people’s self-esteem creates feelings of helplessness and inadequacy. This condition interferes with everything from relationships and work, to personal hygiene.
Treatment for this condition can be complicated, but with a combination of psychotherapy and medication, progress can be effective in the long term.
The old term was manic depression, but today it is usually called bipolar disorder. Why people develop it is unclear, but there are some clues that some events can activate it. Such as overwhelming stress and life-changing events. But it may be mainly due to physical reasons and driven by brain chemistry and/or genetic factors. Currently, the reasons why people develop this issue remains mainly unknown at this time.
People who experience bipolar behaviours often express it as manic episodes that range from being severely depressed to hyperactive and overly focused or compulsive. But the severity and frequency can be dependent on the person.
The only effective treatment for many is medication, but some people who only have mild symptoms can use therapy and self-awareness to help modify moods and behaviours.
It is a common form of depression in found in about 10% of mothers who have just given birth. Symptoms range from being generally down and constantly crying to more severe symptoms, sometimes making it difficult for the mother to look after herself or the baby. It is critical the mother is given the support needed in these difficult times to help her adjust.
Why it happens is complicated, but considering the huge changes to the mother’s life, and the hormonal changes on top of that. This is obviously a lot of emotional and physical adjustment to deal with in one go. Often called post-natal depression. Not forgetting that fathers are not immune and can also be affected by their own form of postnatal depression.
Depression can also happen during pregnancy. This is often referred to as Prenatal depression or antenatal depression.
Is a classification of depression where people with severe clinical depression also exhibit symptoms of psychosis, including delusional thinking.
psychotic episodes may include hearing voices and seeing things that are not there (hallucinations). They may feel persecuted or guilty of something they have not done and think people are after them.
They may not be able to rest and look constantly agitated or do the opposite and thinking and movements become slowed.
Treatment is usually a combination of medication such as antipsychotics and antidepressants and may include talk therapy. In cases that do not respond to treatment electroconvulsive therapy may be suggested as a method of treatment.
Why am I depressed or just feeling sad?
Why some people end up becoming depressed, and why another person does not. Or why one person has depression most of their life and another person recovers in a few months is still not often understood.
However, there are some indications that people can be more susceptible to becoming depressed. If there is a family history of depression and anxiety issues or have experienced past trauma or abuse, or have other emotional problems driving unrealistic expectations or trust issues.
Depression can often be understood.
In many cases, depression can be understood when looked at in context with that person’s life. And that person’s ability to manage stress and their inner emotional world in a way that leads to an intimate understanding and genuine self-compassion.
It may sound strange, but some people who have had a major episode of depression in their life can feel that it has been turned into a positive experience, it has eventually helped them to make changes to the way they live life, in some cases, it has improved their overall mood.
Acute depression is never a pleasant experience
Even though acute depression is never a pleasant experience, they did feel that it has been a significant step to becoming a better person after recovering. Going through depression can, for some, be like a restart that helps them to enjoy life more.
Over time, it may be possible to identify what you do that makes you more prone to depression and work towards changing it.
- Do you think that you have to be seen to be strong all the time?
- Are you hiding your feelings even though you would expect others to let you know if they need support?
- Find it hard to say no and end up doing too much for others?
- Is it hard to accept compliments?
- Do you need to be independent to the point of emotionally isolating yourself from everyone else?
If you said yes to any of the last few questions, or you are uncertain, maybe you have been feeling low or sad about life, or are going through depression and are not actively suicidal, it can be worthwhile booking a free session to see for yourself if therapy could help.
Help for depression with online therapy
If you are struggling with depression, experiencing online therapy could help you find new ways of tackling any negative thinking, anxiety and emotional difficulties. With a carefully guided exploration of your life when having therapy, it can be possible to find new ways of dealing with your depression that, in time, could bring an end to or reduce the problems you experience with depression.
More than one in six people experience depression over their lifetime. It’s hard to be precise because many people never seek any help and suffer in silence. You can do something about it. Your Recovery from depression can be helped by eating a healthy diet and finding some time to get fit or do some exercise.
Just being more active such as walking more and driving less, can help you feel better in time.
The mind and the body
The mind and the body are intertwined in life; one effect the other, psychological problems lead to physical problems, the mind can help heal the physical self, the mind is where we live and find joy and love. It’s also the place we find dark places and despair; depression also affects the physical body. It’s not just a mental state.
When the mind suffers, so does the body; people with depression lose coordination and speed; it affects the body’s ability to heal and fight off infection. The ability to digest food is lowered, and digestive or bowel problems can be more common. The sense of touch and taste can also change, so it can profoundly affect the ability to live life. The good news is that it is treatable, and many people recover from its influence and go on to lead a life free of depression.
If you’re feeling depressed, you can sometimes still enjoy a sunrise or a funny moment, but the overall emotions are subdued. It can reduce your ability to think normally or react quickly; it can feel as if your soul is carrying a substantial lead weight, and it takes so much emotion to move it that there is none left for joy.
Depression is liable to reduce your ability to sleep and affect your self-worth, confidence can wither away, and inside, you start to stagnate into emptiness. However, that is just one interpretation, depression is a personal affliction, and many depths or levels are felt at a time. No one is the same, and depression is a very personal experience, and you need to experience it to understand its life eroding pattern fully.
Although anti-depressants are not always found to be helpful by some people and even seen as a problem by others, you may feel some benefit from taking them; they do have their place in providing some respite with some severe symptoms. They don’t help everyone, but it is still a physical way of giving help that can, in some cases, save lives and should be considered.
Physical problems leading to depression
There are physical problems that can make you depressed, such as thyroid disease or diabetes. To find out if there could be a physical reason for your depression, your doctor will be the best place to start, do not just sit in silence, suffering. See someone, even if it’s the local nurse or counsellor.
Therapy can and does help people with depression.