"Though you may be under a dark tree, always look for the light shining through the branches"

Depression can affect anyone at any stage in their life. Anxiety, stress and lack of energy can leave you feeling down and miserable for a few days or so and we may even say “I’m depressed”. The difference with depression is that those feelings last for a long time, can feel overwhelming and make life very difficult to cope with.

There is no single test to take to diagnose depression as there are many symptoms. If you experience a number of these symptoms for more than two weeks, it is possible you are suffering from a depressive episode. The symptoms are:
  • Feeling depressed, sad anxious or bored
  • Lack of energy – a feeling of fatigue or tiredness where everything seems an effort
  • Difference in sleeping pattern – either waking during the night or finding it difficult to sleep, or on the other hand sleeping excessively
  • Poor concentration – finding yourself feeling indecisive or forgetful
  • Loss of interest in food, exercise, work, sex or life in general
  • Lower sense of self-esteem or self-worth, or feelings of guilt
  • Physical aches and pains – headaches, chest pains or other pains which have no apparent physical basis
  • Thoughts of self-harm or suicide or recurrent thoughts of death
Because these symptoms and the deterioration in mood can be gradual, people can find it difficult to put words on how they feel and can become withdrawn, making it more difficult to get help.

There are different types of depression and it is important to first approach your doctor if you feel you are suffering with depression of any sort. Together with your GP, counselling can help you to find a way through and cope with how you are feeling by exploring the underlying reasons for your distress. Depression can be such a dark and lonely place and counselling can help you to find new ways of coping with life so that you can enjoy and embrace life again and not just get through it.