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Understanding Depression: what it is, the causes and ways to manage.

Depression encompasses more than just feeling down. It’s a mental health condition that impacts many people globally. As such, there are still misconceptions around what depression is and how it presents, which can lead to a lot of shame and confusion, particularly for those experiencing it. In this post, we'll talk about depression in detail, like what causes it, its signs, and how it can be treated. We hope this will help those facing it.


So, what exactly is depression? Depression is a mental illness characterised by persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness and emptiness. It can affect how you think, feel, and handle everyday tasks. While everyone experiences a period of sadness or grief, depression is severe and chronic, often interfering with the ability to function normally.


Common symptoms of depression include loss of interest or pleasure in activities, fatigue, low energy, feelings worthlessness, helplessness or irritability, sleep or concentration difficulties, changes in appetite or weight, or thoughts of suicide.


There are several factors that can lead to depression. Some of these may include:

·      Biological Factors: Imbalances in hormones, genes or brain chemistry.

·      Psychological Factors: Low self-esteem, stress or trauma.

·      Environmental Factors: Changes in life circumstances including work, financial or relationship issues, or even the loss of a loved one.


A major barrier to seeking support for depression is the stigma associated with mental illness. It is important to recognise that having or seeking support for depression is not a sign of weakness but an actual medical condition that can be managed through treatment. By encouraging open and honest conversations around mental health, we can start to minimise stigma and support individuals facing challenges with depression to seek the help they deserve.


There are several ways that individuals can be supported with depression. Some of these include seeking one-on-one therapy from a trained counsellor or psychologist, making lifestyle changes, attending support groups to connect with others, as well as medication. We will explore these along with other helpful coping strategies in future articles.


Overall, depression is a multifaceted condition that can significantly impact an individual’s life. However, learning about the symptoms, causes and ways to treat depression, is the first step to creating positive change.

Wherever you are on your mental health journey, our team at Nurtured Thoughts Psychology are always here to help. Our team of clinicians have extensive experience supporting individuals with a wide range of mental health challenges, providing tailor-made treatment plans and strategies to meet their unique needs. At Nurtured Thoughts Psychology, you will be supported each step of the way. Please feel free to get in touch or book an appointment here. We look forward to welcoming and supporting you at the practice. 

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