Depression is the third highest cause of financial, morbidity and mortality in Australia, affecting one in seven people.
Symptoms of depression can range from mild to severe, and answering “yes” to specific questions suggests mood instability that requires professional help.
- Are you feeling sad, gloomy or blue?
- Have you had this feeling for a month or more?
- Are you losing interest or not enjoying activities that you used to find intriguing and pleasurable?
General depressive behaviours include:
- Feeling of sadness
- Loss of pleasure or interest in activities you previously enjoyed
- Unexplained weight loss or gain, changes in appetite
- Sleeping problems – either too much or not enough
- Increased tiredness and a loss of energy
- Feeling worthless or guilty
- Difficulty thinking, concentrating or making decisions
- Increased purposeless physical activity, such as pacing, handwringing, fidgeting, etc.
- Suicidal thoughts
Depression is not the same as feelings of sadness, as it does not suffer a drop in self-esteem or a sense of worthlessness. Depressive illnesses are not caused by a single factor, but can be triggered by a range of factors, such as bereavement, divorce, or other traumatic life events. Some people may be triggered by a bereavement, divorce, or other traumatic life event.
More likely, a combination of environmental, psychological, biological and genetic factors may increase the likelihood of developing a depressive disorder, including:
- Abuse—emotional, physical or sexual abuse
- Age—elderly persons, particularly those living alone or without social assistance.
- Conflict—personal conflicts with friends or family
- Death—loss of a loved one
- Gender—women are twice as likely as men to become depressed. Although no-one knows why, it may be due to fluctuating hormones
- Genes—a family history may play a part
- Medications—certain medications can contribute to depression, including isotretinoin used to treat acne, and corticosteroids.
- Serious illness—Depression sometimes accompanies illness or is triggered by a medical condition
- Substance abuse—Abuse of drugs or alcohol typically coexists with depression, and while taking drugs may provide short-term comfort, they ultimately make the condition worse.
Direct Focus Solutions can help with a combination of multidisciplinary techniques to assess the severity of mood disorders. Interventions such as CBT, ACT, mindfulness and motivational interviewing are helpful for mild to moderate cases.
Our home-based "mood shifters" program, which combines exercise, a healthy diet, good sleep habits, music therapy, ionized air, and a variety of conscious activities, is also helpful.
Combining medication and cognitive behavioural therapies is the most effective treatment for severe depression. Our services offer tailor-made solutions for people suffering from depression. Don't hold it in if you or a loved one is exhibiting symptoms. Contact us to set up a physical appointment at one of our locations in Sydney or Wollongong, or you can use our Telehealth service to arrange a virtual appointment.