Under the umbrella of the term depression is Major Depressive Disorder and its related mood disorders including Bipolar Disorder, Post Partum, Cyclothymia, Dysthymia and Dysphoria.
1 in 7 Australians experienced depression in the past 12 months. That’s a total of 2.83 million people according to Beyond Blue. 1 in 6 will be women compared to 1 in 8 men. How many of these seek treatment for depression is unclear. The statistics indicate that around 50% of these individuals are actively seeking treatment for this condition.
There is a destinct difference between being sad and being depressed. Sadness is experienced by all human beings and is usually transient. Depression is a medical condition and is diagnosed using the Diagnostic Statisical Manual (DSM) used by all medical professionals.
As mentioned above there are several variations of depression but we will just address the most common that being Major Depression. For an individual to be diagnosed with this condition the following criteria must be satisfied. Of the above list 5 (or more) must have been present during the same 2 week period and represent a change from usual functioning. One of the symptoms has to either be 1) depressed mood or 2) loss of interest in pleasure.
Depressive disorders reduce an individual’s quality of life sinking them in to a world of loneliness, despair and intense feelings of hopelessness.
This usually consists of assessing the narratives that the individual holds that bring about their depressive thoughts. These narratives are explored in terms of causation, reinforcing behaviours and interpersonal relationships. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) explores the impact of these narratives and challenges the individuals belief that these narratives represent a rigid mind set that does not allow for alternative views and behaviours that will reduce the individuals suffering. If you would like to know more about how CBT works in the treatment of Depression click on the link below to make an appointment.