At some point in our lives, we all experience sadness or anxiety. Sometimes it’s due to a clear cause – the loss of a job, the death of a loved one or chronic stress. Other times, we feel sad and down, and don’t know why. When our difficult times last for a while, we may find ways to cope and rise again. But when symptoms persist, and we struggle to rise from the darkness, it may be more than a bout of the “blues”; it may be depression.
Depression is a mental health condition that is very distinct from feeling blue. It can contain a cocktail of emotions: anger, fear, despair, guilt, apathy, grief and more. Depression can affect our lives in many ways. It can affect how we think and behave; it can affect our body functions; it can significantly affect our health and happiness.
Depression can present itself differently in different people and it’s nearly always a result of multiple causes. A one-size-fits all approach is inappropriate; it’s important to recognise and work with every factor that may have caused it.
At least 1 in 10 people experience depression at some stage in their lives. If you are struggling know that you are not alone and that we can help you. By recognising the symptoms, you can take the first step towards a healthier, happier life.
Anxiety and depression are not the same, though they can be experienced at the same time. If you are experiencing five or more of these symptoms for two weeks or longer, you could be dealing with depression*
- Persistently sad, gloomy and prone to crying spells
- Disinterested in activities, friends or family
- Feeling helpless and hopeless
- Tired, lacking in energy, and/or experiencing sleep challenges
- Overwhelmed and in despair
- Feeling worthless and consumed by guilt
- Finding it hard to concentrate and function at work/college/school
- Eating significantly more or less than usual
- Experiencing a loss of sex drive and/or sexual problems
- Considering or inflicting self-harm
- Having recurrent thoughts of death or suicide
It can be hard to acknowledge feelings of depression, but please know that a diagnosis is not the end of your world; it can be the beginning of a new one.
* In our clinical experience, we recognise that children will show different symptoms.
There are many factors that could contribute to feelings of depression. These include, but are not limited to:
- A trigger such as divorce, illness, loss of a job, or death of a loved one
- Postpartum depression, history of trauma, or post traumatic stress
- Existing mental health conditions or a family history of depression
- Loneliness, low self-esteem, and a background of mental or emotional stress
- Hidden influences, like a hormonal or nutritional imbalance, medication, or biochemistry
- Spiritual emergency: a sense of crisis from a period of intense spiritual growth or deep loss of purpose
Whatever the causes are, we are committed to working with you to identify and address them. Depression is treatable: there is always hope, no matter how bleak the landscape of your mind may seem.
Traditionally, antidepressants are used to treat depression, alongside psychological support. Anti-depressants are designed to balance chemicals (neurotransmitters) in the brain that affect mood and emotions. However, depression is not always the result of a chemical balance. This means that while antidepressants may help some; it may hinder others.
At IMI, we recognise that treating depression is highly individual and complex. That's why we take a personalised approach.
We work with you to acknowledge and address the seven different factors that may be contributing to your depression.
Counselling, psychotherapy and clinical psychology
Our highly experienced psychologists and counsellors are committed to working – respectfully, compassionately, and at a pace that works for you – to understand the root of your depression and find ways to help you cope. Counselling and psychotherapy can provide you with a safe space to explore your thoughts, feelings and emotions deeply, freely and without judgement, or bias.
For mild depression, counselling and talking therapy may offer appropriate support. If your depression is more complex, is connected to a pre-existing mental health condition, history of trauma, or has been diagnosed as clinical depression, we recommend clinical psychology or psychotherapy. These provide a more structured and depth-based approach to support you in navigating the complexities of your depression.
Our naturopaths can run tests in order to rule out physical complications. Gut imbalances, thyroid malfunction, acute or chronic stress reactions, drug or alcohol abuse and dependence, recent surgery, and PMS can all contribute to depression.
A naturopath may also suggest ways to adjust your current diet and exercise regime in order to support your recovery. Studies prove that exercise is as good as antidepressants in alleviating some symptoms of depression.
Our naturopaths may prescribe herbal and dietary supplements to treat deficiencies that may contribute to depression.
Acupuncture, osteopathy and craniosacral therapy
Through gentle hands-on work, these therapies help to re-establish the flow of subtle energy rhythms, bringing balance to body and mind and easing the nervous system.
It may take time and patience to recover, but you won’t be alone. We will work hand-in-hand with you to support you to rise from depression with more strength, insight, healing and clarity.
Taking the first step to talk about depression can be hard, but it can also be the first step towards hope and healing. If you are experiencing symptoms of depression, let us help you on your journey to recovery. If you know you are suffering with complex or clinical depression, we recommend initially seeing a psychologist.
If you're ready to start talking, our team of psychotherapists and counsellors are here to listen and support you. Connect with us below, and we'll be in touch shortly.
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