Depression

Mental health refers to your overall psychological well-being and  influences how you:

  • think, feel, and behave in daily life
  • Your ability to form relationships and the quality of those relationships
  • Your ability to cope with stress, and overcome challenges
  • Your level of resilience to recover from life’s setbacks and hardships. 

 

Good mental health isn’t just the absence of mental health problems.

Being mentally or emotionally healthy is much more than being free of depression, anxiety, or other psychological issues.   Rather than the absence of mental illness, mental health refers to the presence of positive characteristics.

Mental health is defined as a state of well-being in which every individual:

  • realises his or her own potential
  • can cope with the normal stresses of life
  • can work productively and fruitfully
  • and is able to make a contribution to her or his community. 

 

World Health Organisation (WHO) (2014)

 

Some statements around mental health that you may find interesting!

  • “If mental health becomes more of an everyday issue, that matters to us all, then the stigma attached to getting help can be reduced. While Irish society will continue to experience considerable change and face new challenges ahead, a mentally healthier Irish society will be much better able to cope.”
  • “Mental health is a most important, maybe the most important, public health issue, which even the poorest society must afford to promote, to protect and to invest in.”
  • “Mental health is more than the absence of mental ill health, but is something that everybody experiences over their lifetime.”

 

HSE research from the National Office for Suicide Prevention (NOSP) in mental health in Ireland; and (2) the WHO (2003). WHO (2014)http://www.who.int/features/factfiles/mental_health/en/

Illustration Taken from “Fight Your Dark Shadow:  Managing Depression with Cognitive Behaviour Therapy.”
(Rosenvald / Tian / Schmidt:  2007)

 

Have you ever wondered if what you are experiencing is perhaps depression?

Sometimes people struggle on without knowing the symptoms they are experiencing are, in fact, depression.   It might surprise you to know that as many as 1-10 consultations with a GP show low mood / depression as a main problem.   Depression, (sometimes referred to as mood disorders), are amongst the most distressing and debilitating conditions presenting to GPs.   Unfortunately, they are also amongst the most common.

Depression is now ranked as one of the most common reasons for people having to take time off work and 1 in 2 people are estimated to experience  depression at some point in their lives.   It seems that depression is a common human experience. In fact, 450,000 people experience the condition at any one time in Ireland and it is often referred to as the “common cold” of psychiatry and mental health and at other times referred to as “living with the black dog”. Depression hurts! and most of us would do anything not to feel this way.

Depression is characterised by sadness, loss of energy and interest in daily activities. It can occur as a single episode in a lifetime, or as recurrent episodes. We may feel deeply unhappy and have recurring negative thoughts about ourselves, others or just the world in general.

As much as 15-20% of people will suffer significant symptoms at any one time and in most cases, recovery happens within 3-6 months.

Here are some common causes of depression, which show that low mood can be problematic for many:

  • Loss
  • Major disappointment
  • Chemical imbalance
  • Genetic disposition
  • Some medications (i.e. narcotics, steroids) may trigger depression
  • Traumatic events (violence, abuse, neglect)
  • Social problems
  • Unresolved family conflict
  • Some medical conditions.

 

The good news is that you CAN take charge and start to manage your depression more efficiently. With a Cognitive Behavioural approach you take “active management” of your depression by using CBT skills to identify any recurring negative patterns around your thoughts, understand your own unhelpful behaviours which may be exacerbating your depression and keeping you locked in this difficult spiral. You will be treated with respect and helped to regain control over your depression and bring about a good emotional balance to enjoy a happier future.

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